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The History of Casino Gambling in New Jersey: From Boardwalk Empire to Online Gaming Hub

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The history of casino gambling in New Jersey, particularly within the vibrant heart of Atlantic City and its transition into an online gaming hub, paints a vivid picture of evolution, innovation, and resilience. 

It traces its origins from the sandy shores of the Atlantic to the digital screens of the 21st century, highlighting significant milestones that have shaped the state’s gambling landscape.

The Dawn of Legalized Gambling

Gambling in New Jersey, particularly in Atlantic City, embarked on a transformative journey with the legalization of casino gambling in 1978. This pivotal moment followed a decisive 1976 referendum where New Jersey residents voted to permit gambling, exclusively within Atlantic City. It was aimed at revitalizing the then-dilapidated beachfront city and positioning it as a prime destination for tourists seeking leisure and entertainment. 

Resorts Casino Hotel proudly opened its doors as the first legal casino outside of Nevada, marking the beginning of a new era in New Jersey’s entertainment and economic landscape.

The Expansion and Challenges

The following decades witnessed the rapid expansion and flourishing of Atlantic City’s casino industry. The 1980s and 1990s were characterized by the rise and fall of casino empires, with notable figures such as Donald Trump playing significant roles in the industry’s development. 

Trump’s acquisition and eventual financial struggles with properties like the Trump Taj Mahal underscored the volatile nature of the casino business in Atlantic City. Despite these challenges, the city’s casino scene continued to grow, reaching peak gaming revenues in the mid-2000s, a testament to its enduring appeal and economic significance.

The Borgata and the Rejuvenation of Atlantic City

The early 2000s heralded a significant transformation for Atlantic City, notably with the debut of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in 2003. This establishment set a new benchmark as Atlantic City’s first Las Vegas-style hotel and casino, infusing a fresh wave of elegance, entertainment, and gaming innovation into the area. 

The Borgata’s introduction of an extensive selection of table games and a standout poker room not only shifted the landscape of casino gaming in the region but also played a pivotal role in rejuvenating Atlantic City’s appeal as a premier gambling destination. This era was marked by a notable increase in the city’s gaming revenues, underscoring the casino sector’s vital contribution to the local community’s economic fabric.

In keeping with the digital transformation trend within the gambling industry, the Borgata has extended its reach beyond the physical confines of its casino floors by launching an online platform. 

The digital extension allows fans to experience the thrill of the Borgata from anywhere within New Jersey, further amplifying its impact on the state’s gambling ecosystem. 

Among the features that have made the online platform a favorite among fans is the Borgata casino promo code. This promotional code has become popular, drawing users to the platform by offering them special bonuses and incentives that enhance their gaming experience.

The Launch of Online Gambling

The digital revolution, culminating in the legalization of online gambling in New Jersey in 2013, marked a crucial transition in the state’s gambling history. The legislative framework that allowed residents over the age of 21 to engage in online casino games and poker was a groundbreaking development. By requiring that the servers for online gambling websites be located within Atlantic City’s licensed casinos, New Jersey cleverly integrated its storied gambling heritage with the emerging digital gaming landscape. This strategic maneuver was not merely a response to the shift in consumer behavior towards digital platforms; it was also a visionary approach to diversify and fortify the state’s gambling industry for the future.

The online gambling platforms heralded a new era of growth and accessibility in New Jersey’s gambling sector. Licensed online sportsbooks and casinos proliferated, offering various gaming options that attracted a wide audience. The expansion of online gambling has been a boon for state coffers, generating substantial tax revenue and reinforcing New Jersey’s position as a leading gambling hub. 

Moreover, the accessibility and diversity of gaming experiences have been significantly enhanced, providing both residents and visitors with the convenience of enjoying their favorite games from anywhere within the state.

A crucial factor in the exponential growth of online gambling in New Jersey has been the aggressive use of promotions and incentives by online platforms. Fans and players have shown a keen interest in making the most of various promotions. These promotions have been effective in attracting new users and have played a significant role in retaining them by offering tangible benefits and rewards. 


The journey of casino gambling in New Jersey, from the iconic boardwalk of Atlantic City to the digital world, reflects a dynamic interplay between tradition and innovation. Through periods of economic challenges and regulatory changes, the state has remained at the forefront of the gambling industry, adapting to new trends and technologies. As New Jersey continues to evolve as a major hub for both traditional and online gaming, its story remains a compelling chapter in the broader narrative of gambling in America.

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