When it comes to slots, the looser the better.
Therefore, when it comes to determining the Atlantic City casino with the best slots, there is really only one statistic that matters: return to player rate (RTP).
For games in a casino, the odds of winning are expressed in RTP.
Essentially, RTP is the percentage of money bet on a game that the game will ultimately pay back to players. If a game has a 90 percent RTP, for every $100 bet on it, a player should expect to win back $90.
However, RTP indicates the longterm performance of a game. This means it may take more than $100 in bets for the game to pay back that $90. Nothing is guaranteed, particularly in the short term, and a player may not ever see a slot’s true RTP realized before they run out of money playing it.
That said, RTP remains the best indicator of which casino has the loosest, and therefore best slots.
Atlantic City casino slots: Always look for RTP
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s Atlantic City Casino Industry Casino Win Data For Calendar Year 2017 document, slots at the seven Atlantic City casinos operating last year had an overall average of 92.1 percent RTP. It’s no wonder slots are so popular.
The average RTP is actually much lower for the penny slots that appear to be the busiest in most Atlantic City casinos.
In fact, the one cent and two cent slots at Atlantic City casinos had an average of 88.7 percent RTP in 2017. The penny slots at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa were the best among them at 89.8 percent RTP. However, Borgata’s overall average RTP among slots of all denominations was 91.89 percent, below the industry average and far from the best in the business.
High roller slots pay much better across the board. The best $25 slots can be found at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, where they had a 94.4 percent RTP last year. The Atlantic City average for $25 slots in 2017 was 92.5 percent RTP.
For $100 slots, Resorts Casino Hotel and Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City posted 94.1 and 94.2 percent RTP respectively last year. Numbers that were well above the 91.7 percent RTP industry average for $100 slots.
The loosest slots among the thousands at Atlantic City casinos in 2017 were actually the five-cent slot machines at Tropicana. These slots posted a 95.2 percent RTP on their way to becoming one of Atlantic City’s best bets last year.
Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City
Plus, they helped Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City post an overall average of 92.59 percent RTP on slots of all denominations, making the Trop the Atlantic City casino with the loosest and best slots.
Here’s a look at the average RTP on slots of all denominations for all seven Atlantic City casinos:
- Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City: 92.59 percent
- Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino: 92.24 percent
- Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino: 92.23 percent
- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa: 91.89 percent
- Resorts Casino Hotel: 91.82 percent
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City: 91.66 percent
- Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City: 91.44 percent
Slots at The Trop
One of the oldest and most storied casino properties in Atlantic City, the Tropicana currently boasts three floors of casino gaming with more than 3,000 slot machines and 135 table games. Resort amenities also include more than 2,000 hotel rooms, 26 restaurants, 25 shops, 20 bars and lounges, four pools, an IMAX Theater, a spa and a 2,000-seat showroom.
Tropicana prides itself on being a casino games innovator and boasts a selection of more than 2,400 different games it says surpasses the offerings of other Atlantic City casinos.
In terms of slots, the list includes everything from the newest slots available to a wide variety of classics. The games are in areas with engaging themes. Many feature linked and individual progressive jackpots. There also a rather large video poker area and a stylish and inviting High Limit slots lounge with a private concierge, restrooms, and hundreds of high-denomination slot games.
Tropicana’s history in Atlantic City
The origins of Tropicana Casino and Resort lie in The Ambassador Hotel, circa 1919.
The Ambassador infamously played host to the Atlantic City Conference for organized crime bosses. The likes of Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano all attended.
The Ambassador closed in the 1970s. However, Ramada brought its bones back to life in 1981. The organization actually purchased the Ambassador in 1978 with plans to remodel. Ramada was forced by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and then-Gov. Brendan Byrne to demolish the property and build a new hotel and casino practically from the ground up, reusing only the steel framework from the old hotel.
Ramada bought the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas in 1979 and decided to call the under-construction Boardwalk property Tropicana Atlantic City.
It opened in November 1981, with a 521-room hotel and casino. Renovations continued throughout the 1980s, adding a showroom, a second hotel tower, and the Tivoli Pier indoor amusement center. Tropicana Atlantic City became TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort.
Tropicana changes hands
Ramada ended the 1980s by selling the Las Vegas Tropicana. The mid-1990s saw another new hotel tower added and further renovations. A new poker, keno and off-track betting area opened, and the property was renamed Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City.
The early 2000s saw another new hotel tower, a parking garage, and increased meeting and convention space added. Plus, The Quarter at Tropicana, a 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex and shopping mall opened up.
Ownership landed in the hands of a company called Columbia Sussex in 2005. However, Columbia Sussex was denied a casino license in 2007. Ultimately, a trustee took control.
Carl Icahn steps in and out
A group of creditors led by billionaire Carl Icahn bought Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City out of bankruptcy in 2009.
Icahn ran the property under his Tropicana Entertainment Inc. umbrella. The company has made more than $200 million in upgrades, renovations, and enhancements since 2013.
However, Icahn announced plans to sell Tropicana Entertainment Inc.’s US casino properties, including Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City, to real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties in early 2018. As a part of the $1.85 billion deal, Eldorado Resorts will take over casino operations.