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).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

Ticked off New York City’s big sights and wondering where to go next? From sinking a pint in Brooklyn's Red Hook to sampling Italian delicacies in The Bronx, …

11 Apr 2017 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
In search of the real Wild West on America's Great Plains

In search of the real Wild West on America's Great Plains

Wild West – we all feel something when we see or hear those words. But why? How much is true and how much is fantasy? Our editor Neil McQuillian took to the (…

06 Apr 2017 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

With mountains to climb, rivers to raft, glaciers to coo over and a bevy of bears to photograph, Alaska is the ultimate wilderness – and this year is the per…

30 Mar 2017 • Sarah Reid camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month