Each of Atlantic City’s dozen casinos, which also act as luxury hotels, conference centres and concert halls, has a slightly different image, though you might not guess it among the apparent uniformity of vast, richly ornamented halls, slot machines, relentless flashing lights, incessant noise, chandeliers, mirrors and a disorienting absence of clocks or windows. The casinos are divided into four areas: uptown, midtown and downtown occupy the north, central and south sections of the boardwalk respectively, while the marina enclave towers over a spit of land in the northwest of the city.

The most outwardly ostentatious, unsurprisingly, is Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal. Occupying nearly twenty acres and more than forty storeys high, dotted with glittering minarets and onion domes, this gigantic but oddly anticlimactic piece of Far Eastern kitsch stands uptown, opposite the arcade-packed Steel Pier. Bally’s charmingly garish midtown Wild West Casino is much more outlandish and fun, and also offers complete access to the games and memberships of adjacent Roman-themed Caesars, the smaller Showboat uptown and Hilton downtown, although flashy Tropicana is the more amusing of the two casinos down at that end. All casinos are open 24 hours, including holidays, and have a strict minimum age requirement, so be prepared to show ID that proves you’re 21 or older. Oddly, the slot machines now only take notes (minimum $5).

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

American beauty: the southwest USA in pictures

American beauty: the southwest USA in pictures

After two months road tripping through the southwest USA, Rough Guides photographer Tim Draper captured the region's stunning natural beauty through his lens. H…

16 Oct 2017 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
10 places where you can see America's fall foliage at its finest

10 places where you can see America's fall foliage at its finest

As fall takes hold, a magnificent blanket of gold and amber leaves begins to descend across the USA. Misty morning walks and roaring fires start to bec…

21 Sep 2017 • Phoebe Tatham insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook