The next two weeks are going to be wild in Atlantic City. Some might even say it borders on… madness.
Between the return of the St. Patrick’s Day parade on the World’s Most Famous Boardwalk (March 12), the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title games at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall (March 11) and the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (March 14), Atlantic City is primed for a busy start to spring.
Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel and president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, says the city’s nine gambling parlors are ready.
“The national college basketball championship is the best time of year for basketball fans, and there is no better place to enjoy the unpredictable, action-packed tournament than Atlantic City. Atlantic City casinos have world-class dining, entertainment and shopping, and guests can watch teams compete for the national championships while experiencing all that the resort destination has to offer.”
For those looking to make the trip to AC, whittling down what to do, how to watch the games or where to find the best deals is enough to make anyone go a little crazy.
Luckily, PlayNJ has it covered. Here is a rundown of what Atlantic City casinos have on tap for March Madness.
Bally’s Atlantic City
Fans can catch all the action at either the FanDuel Sportsbook or The Yard! at Bally’s. Both locations have food and beverage options, including $5 PBR (12 oz. cans), $6 Bud Lite and Miller Light (16 oz. drafts) and $10 shot & beer combos at The Yard!
Between now and March 11, rewards card members can earn entries into the $1 million Final Fortunes Sweepstakes by playing slots or table games.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
AC’s largest casino has plenty of space to watch every game of the 2023 NCAA basketball tournament. The BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar and Level One Cocktail Bar are prime viewing locations, but getting a last-minute spot without reservations may be challenging.
Borgata has set up additional viewing areas in the Central Conference Center (with four sports betting windows), B Bar, Lobby Bar and the Race Book (across from BetMGM Sportsbook).
Caesars Entertainment’s Atlantic City casinos
Caesars Atlantic City is home to the city’s largest sportsbook, located in the Wild Wild West section of the property. Reservations are necessary because the massive space fills up quickly on game days. For a more private experience, Caesars Sportsbook offers fan caves, complete with a big-screen TV, couches and lounge chairs, video games and food/drink service.
Reservations are also suggested for the sportsbook at Tropicana Atlantic City. Once seated, grab a $40 “mix or match” drink bucket while checking out the games on panoramic LED screens.
For a more subdued game day experience, there is Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Resort. Smaller and less flashy than other AC sportsbooks, Harrah’s has plush stadium chairs and giant TVs (and fan caves). Food and drinks are available from AC Burger Co. Additional viewing areas will be set up at Coastal Craft Kitchen, X Bar, Eden Lounge and The Pool.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Arguably the best-kept secret in AC is The Sportsbook at Golden Nugget. It feels like the Man Cave every bourbon-drinking, cigar-smoking sports fan would build if they had Tilman Fertitta‘s money. The games will be on every one of The Sportsbook’s 50 TVs and the Rush Lounge across the way. Beer buckets for $24 and $5 shot specials will be available.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Tucked in the back of one of AC’s busiest gaming floors is the Hard Rock Sportsbook Bar. All tournament long, the friendly faces behind the bar will serve $5 Sam Adams drafts. For the more discerning palate, head to Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and ask about the $14 Beyond The Pale drink special.
On March 17 and March 18, rewards card members can earn entries in the $200,000 Shamrock Sweepstakes for a chance to win $100,000 each day.
Be prepared for big crowds to see The Killers (March 16) and Kelsea Ballerini (March 17) at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena.
Ocean Casino Resort
The Gallery Bar, Book & Games is AC’s newest sports-centric experience. The 12,000-square-foot venue has a center bar surrounded by casino table games. Upstairs, the Balcony Bar offers the best view in the house. Viewing is also available at TopGolf Swing Suite, Villain & Saint, Nola’s Bar & Lounge and 1927 Lounge.
Ocean is offering the Madness Zone Hotel Package, which includes a king room, $50 food and beverage credit to The Gallery and a swag bag.
Resorts Casino Hotel
Head to the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts Casino Hotel for March Madness. Or, go to Margaritaville or Landshark Bar & Grill for $20 beer buckets and $3 off appetizers.
On March 18 at 6:30 p.m., Resorts is hosting the first annual $50,000 Boardwalk Half-Court Shot. Earn entries by using a Resorts rewards card while playing slots or table games.
Bonus: Local knowledge
There is more to Atlantic City than just casinos.
The Orange Loop (New York and Tennessee avenues and St. James Place) has plenty of places to watch a game, grab a bite or see a live band.
A pint at The Irish Pub is almost mandatory for those attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Go to Tony’s Baltimore Grill for the best bar pie in AC. Ducktown Tavern is open 24 hours and serves wings. ‘Nough said.
Knife & Fork Inn, Dock’s Oyster House and Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern are can’t-miss hot spots if a romantic dinner is more your speed.
The Lucky Snake Arcade inside the Showboat Hotel Atlantic City is a great way to spend a few hours.