Retrocon 2024

The Most Exciting Resorts in New Jersey That Were Built in the ’80s

Image by Marilyn Conlon on Flickr

The 80s were mostly remembered as an inspiring period for rock music, screaming guitar effects, long hair, and a laid-back lifestyle. But did you know that the most exciting resorts were also built during that time period that still stands around to this very day?

Today, we’ll give you a rundown on what we consider to be the top 3 most memorable gambling establishments, each offering plenty of reasons to see it from up close.

In NJ, There’s Plenty of Online Casino Action as Well

If you don’t have the time or resources to visit in person, the good news is that you can get in on a fair share of gambling action that’s taking place online. For your convenience, this NJ online casinos list provides a comprehensive overview of the top NJ online casino sites that offer the best games to play.

For those who swear by the brick & mortar experience, the following NJ casino establishments should be of interest to you:

Golden Nugget (Built in 1985)

Situated within 2 miles of the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, this is a 4-star resort that is home to a casino, a full-service spa, 9 restaurants, a nightclub, and a 462-seat theater the likes of which helped propel Dig Dug to stardom in the 80s and more accommodation capacity than you’ll ever need at 717 rooms in total.

Originally bearing the name Trump’s Castle in 1985, the year of its grand opening, it later on adopted the name Trump Marina in 1997. In 2011, Landry’s took over, renaming it to the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, and the company has retained ownership ever since.

Over the course of its lifetime, this stunning 2000-seat ballroom has attracted the attention of numerous big names in the entertainment business, including Andy Williams, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Steve Martin, Connie Francis, and others.

Nowadays, people come to visit for all sorts of entertainment purposes and even to get a good workout, thanks to its several basketball and tennis courts, plus the convenient jogging track that’s right next to them. If you’re into mixed martial arts and boxing like they do it in the Rocky movies, there’s plenty of sparring to be found at the Golden Nugget establishment for all to see.

Since 2013, Golden nugget also has had its own online casino, and it happens to be one of the finest New Jersey online casinos. Even back in 2014, its catalog consisted of 400 different titles, which is more than what was typical for other online operators in NJ at the time.

Harrah’s (Built in 1980)

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City offers a combination of electronic entertainment and amenities for a stay of a lifetime. Rolling the dice next to an indoor tropical pool has never felt so soothing, yet surreal at the same time. Make no mistake – Harrah’s is a family-friendly place, offering plenty of space for kids to play with thanks to its plush rooms while you get to experience the industry’s finest dining and DJ entertainment.

Historically speaking, ever since the state legalized gambling, this is the fifth brick & mortar casino to spring to life. Currently owned by Caesars Entertainment, its first owners were LM Walters Co and Holiday Inns, a strategic partnership. At the time, this was a massive 506-room hotel tower and the establishment has had multiple expansions over time.

Fast forward to today, it’s much more than a regular casino, and its iconic boardwalk is where numerous romantic weddings are taking place. There are plenty of bars and restaurants at the premises, so sweet tooths and connoisseurs are never left out of the equation. To get a taste of its casino offerings, there’s Harrah’s online casino, one of the best NJ online casinos of all time.

Tropicana (Built in 1981)

Nothing screams luxury more than having the opportunity to gamble in a fine establishment like Tropicana Atlantic City, a multi-tower hotel overlooking the ocean. Take your pick from slots, poker, and table games! Top it off, there’s fine dining, fireworks in the summer, and more than 2000 guest rooms to pick from, the majority of which come with a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and a mini fridge.

The establishment was originally known as TropWorld Resort, up until the year of 1995. In 1988, they expanded it by adding another tower as well as the Tivoli Pier, an indoor amusement center. Seven years later, the West Tower was added. Unfortunately, the Tivoli Pier had to be closed to make room for something even better – a horse racing simulcast area that also featured poker and keno tables.

Today, Tropicana ranks among the best NJ online casinos and brick & mortar establishments with plenty of highly-rated accommodation.


Thanks to New Jersey’s pro-gambling climate, numerous resorts have sprung up over the years and we’ve only scratched the surface with the 3 that we’ve mentioned. Don’t forget that its permissive gambling laws also allow for unrestricted online gambling as long as you’re of legal age!

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