What’s The Difference Between Atlantic City And Las Vegas?

In Atlantic City, you have a 1 in 38 chance of doubling your money at the roulette table. In Las Vegas, you have a 1 in 37 chance, due to slightly lower limits.

You can drink alcohol for free on the casino floor almost anywhere in Las Vegas. In Atlantic City, it’s against New Jersey law to drink alcohol on the casino floor. Vegas has more first-class entertainment than Atlantic City. This is because in Las Vegas there are several large corporations that own casinos that host world-class shows and performers. However, both cities have dozens of entertainment venues each. The big difference between the two isn’t the number of venues — it’s who owns them and who they’re designed to please. Las Vegas casinos run ads calling themselves “The Entertainment Capital of the World,” so they work hard to attract high rollers with luxury rooms and free booze, along with entertainers who’ll appeal to grown-ups. Atlantic City, on the other hand, caters to families, couples, and senior citizens with cheap rooms, inexpensive buffets, and performers whose acts are more innocent than sexual or violent. If all this creates an itch for some online casino you can visit

1. Restaurants


This is a similar distinction to the one you can make about restaurants in both places. The food at the expensive casinos in Vegas tends toward haute cuisine – Kobe beef sliders have replaced hot dogs as the casino snack of choice. Atlantic City has gone the family-dining route by offering menus that include dishes like macaroni and cheese.

The old joke that Las Vegas is where you go when you want to win money and Atlantic City is where you go when you’ve already won it appears to have some truth to it. Las Vegas is filled with high rollers who play for a significant bank, while Atlantic City has more gamblers whose main interest is five-dollar craps tables and other low-stakes games.

While the overall number of people gambling at casinos in both cities is about equal, three times as many people visit casinos in Atlantic City than go to those in Vegas – nearly 46 million people each year vs. 14 million last year. This means that there are more opportunities to do things outside of gambling on the Jersey shore, including shopping, dining out at local restaurants, strolling the boardwalk, or visiting the aquarium or historic homes nearby. For this reason, visiting Atlantic City may be a better value for your entertainment dollar than spending time and money in Vegas.

2. Climate

The climate distinctions between the two locations are stark. In Las Vegas, you may wear shorts throughout the summer and require a winter coat in Atlantic City. Atlantic City’s winters can be harsh. The average temperature in Atlantic City during the winter is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows of about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Each year, Atlantic City receives over 13 inches of snow on average. That isn’t too bad, but it’s roughly 13 inches more than Las Vegas does annually. In addition, Atlantic City gets about four inches of rain per year, while Las Vegas only gets two to three inches. If you have a penchant for meteorological extremes, you’ll have more fun in Las Vegas where there isn’t a single day that’s below freezing or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.

3. Casinos


Las Vegas is known for its casinos and has more than 150 gambling establishments. Atlantic City also has multiple casinos with many of the same games available on the famed Strip in Nevada. Although these cities are less than 200 miles apart from each other, they’ve been competitors since New Jersey legalized casino gambling in 1976 and sparked an East Coast casino building boom. In 1981, Atlantic City had nine casinos; by 1984 it had 12 casinos (and 13 hotel casinos). By 1986, Atlantic City had 15 hotels with casinos; Vegas only had 11.

According to some reports, many of the same games are legal in both cities. You can play blackjack, craps, and roulette in either place. The main difference is that you’ll pay more for drinks (including water) at Atlantic City’s higher-end places. And don’t expect to get comped at low-stakes tables – it’s not the Jersey way of doing things.

4. Transportation

The simplest way to get from Las Vegas to Atlantic City is via car – just drive across the desert on I-15 South for about four hours each way. However, there are also flights between these two locations if you want to make the trip in less than two hours. The flight time between McCarran International Airport (LAS) and Atlantic City/Resort Airline Terminal (ACY) is roughly one hour, depending on which airport you use.

So where should I go?


If you have the cash, it’s worth spending a few days experiencing everything the Strip has to offer – including world-class shows like Le Rêve (The Dream), Steve Wynn’s new aquatic extravaganza at the Bellagio; adult-oriented comedy by Carrot Top; fountains synchronized to music; and traditional family entertainment like O at the hotel formerly known as the “Oasis.”

While Atlantic City casinos cater to everyone with lower limits on table games and slots than what you’ll find in Vegas, there are plenty of opportunities to gamble big money if you’re lucky enough to run into someone willing to sit down at your blackjack table.

Of course, if you’re not willing to gamble at all and just want a nice setting to eat and drink with friends, both cities offer that as well. And although Atlantic City is an hour’s drive from Philadelphia – the hometown of top entertainers like Bruce Springsteen – it might be worth the trip for those who appreciate old-fashioned American entertainment like Hee Haw. Even though there are several Indian casino resorts within driving distance of Philly (Foxwoods in southeast Connecticut; Mohegan Sun in northeast Connecticut; and Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, Penn.), they’ve got nothing on Hee Haw.

The only other real difference between the two is gambling age: In Las Vegas, you must be 21 years old to gamble. In Atlantic City, a person must be 18 years old to play the slots and 21 for table games.

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