Atlantic City and Las Vegas have always been in a neck-and-neck rivalry over the “Best Gambling City in the USA” title. To answer the question in the title, we must say that gambling became legal in the state of Nevada, including in Las Vegas, in 1931. It was only in 1976 that casino gambling became legal in Atlantic City. So, Las Vegas came first!
What About Sports Betting?
Sports, off-track, and live betting became legal in Nevada in 1949. Thus, Nevada became the first American state to take such a bold legislative step. Unfortunately, back then, most of the off-track betting was in the hands of businessmen of a dubious reputation. That’s not the case anymore, as all gambling and lottery businesses in Nevada are subject to tight control and pay substantial taxes.
Sports betting, including its off-track and live varieties, became legal in the state of New Jersey in June 2018 with the signature of Governor Phil Murphy. Thus, NJ became the third American state to have legalized sports betting. In terms of sports betting legalization, Las Vegas came first again!
Atlantic City VS Las Vegas: How Many Casinos?
In view of the Atlantic City vs. Las Vegas rivalry, let us now have a look at the number of casinos in the two cities. A quick browse through our trusted sources reveals that there are 136 casinos in Las Vegas.
Some quick research reveals that there are only nine casinos in Atlantic City. So, Las Vegas is way ahead of its rival in this criterion as well.
The Biggest Casino
Let us now make a head-to-head comparison of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
The biggest casino in Las Vegas is Wynn and Encore in the northern part of the city. The casino spreads on more than 186,000 square feet. The complex houses two casinos under one roof with a single license. This mega casino has over 2,190 slot machines and 240 tables.
The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is Atlantic City’s largest casino. It has a total floorage of 160,000 square feet and offers its guests 3,000 slot machines and 186 tables. To sum up, Wynn and Encore is larger in terms of space and has more tables, but Borgata has more slot machines. It’s fair to say that the biggest casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City are about equal.
Best RTP Rates in Las Vegas and Atlantic City
Return to player rates are very important for casinos. Some casinos are more “generous” than others, and they attract more visitors. Let’s have a look at the average RTPs in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Slots are the most popular form of gambling in Las Vegas. In 2019, multi-denomination slot machines were the most generous, with an average RTP of 93.61%. With an average RTP of just over 88%, Penny Slots were the stingiest in Las Vegas last year.
Regarding slot machines, the best return to player rate in Atlantic City is just under 92% at Borgata. Penny slots that accept bets as low as one cent had an average RTP rate of 88.7%. Against this index, we can fairly assume that Las Vegas and Atlantic City are about equal.
In the paragraphs above, we showed that Las Vegas has longer-running gambling traditions than Atlantic City. Also, there are many more casinos in Sin City than in Monopoly City – 136 to 9! The largest casino in Las Vegas beats Atlantic City’s Borgata in terms of gambling space and the number of tables. However, Borgata has more slot machines than Wynn and Encore. Finally, the RTP rates in the two gambling megapolises are about equal.
With regard to the above, we can conclude that Las Vegas rightfully wins the Best Gambling City in America title! Whichever city you choose to check out, we wish you good luck!