Is Showboat Still a Casino? Exploring the Fate of a Landmark Gaming Destination

The Fate of Showboat Casino in Atlantic City: A Comprehensive Review

Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City has a rich history and has been providing endless entertainment options for tourists for several years. However, recent changes in ownership and a shifting gaming landscape have put Showboat’s future as a casino in jeopardy. In this article, we will dive deep into Showboat’s past, present, and future and explore the prospects of this iconic casino as a gaming destination.

A Historical Perspective on Showboat
A Historical Perspective on Showboat

A Historical Perspective on Showboat

Showboat opened its doors in 1987, with a focus on providing a unique gambling experience that catered to the masses. The casino’s brand was centered around the concept of a riverboat casino, complete with paddle-wheel boats, and a rustic charm that set it apart from other casinos in the city. In the early 2000s, Harrah’s Entertainment purchased Showboat and integrated it into its Total Rewards program.

However, in 2014, after some financial turbulence, Caesars Entertainment sold Showboat to Richard Stockton College, who planned to use the space as a campus. The idea was eventually abandoned, and the building was then sold to developer Bart Blatstein. However, the property remained closed, leading to questions about the future of Showboat as a casino.

Exploring Showboat’s Cultural Impact

Showboat has been a hub of entertainment for over three decades and has served as a place of fun and tourism for people from all parts of the world. Several famous faces have visited the establishment, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey, and Sylvester Stallone. Additionally, several notable individuals have hit big at Showboat, such as a New York City woman who once won more than $10 million playing a penny slot machine.

Showboat’s influence on popular culture has extended way beyond Atlantic City. The casino’s “Mardi Gras” theme and New Orleans-style fa├žade have helped shape the perception of Las Vegas as a gambling destination. The success of Showboat’s branding efforts has trickled down to other gambling hubs, inspiring other casinos and gaming establishments worldwide.

The Economic Challenges Facing Showboat
The Economic Challenges Facing Showboat

The Economic Challenges Facing Showboat

The gaming industry has undergone a significant shift in recent years, as more states legalize gambling and more casinos open. This expansion has created fierce competition among gaming establishments, with casinos vying for visitors and revenue. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges.

Showboat’s own struggles reflect this industry-wide trend. From 2006 to 2014, the casino’s revenue decreased by around 50%, a reflection of both changing gambling habits and wider economic factors. While Showboat’s non-gaming offerings have proved somewhat successful in offsetting these losses, the property’s future as a casino is looking increasingly uncertain.

A Look at Showboat’s Non-Gaming Amenities

When visitors think of Showboat, they often focus solely on the gambling aspect. However, the casino has also worked to adapt to changing consumer needs and tastes. One example of this is the establishment’s food and beverage options. Showboat is home to three restaurants and two bars, all of which offer a variety of cuisines and settings. Additionally, the hotel’s entertainment options have evolved over time, with acts ranging from comedy to live music.

A Future-Focused Perspective on Showboat

Looking ahead, there are several potential paths for the Showboat casino. One possibility is that Bart Blatstein may reopen the property as a casino and hotel, attempting to replicate the success he has found at other ventures. Alternatively, the site could be rebranded as a mixed-use space, with both residential and commercial areas.

Regardless of which route is chosen, any future for Showboat as a casino would require significant investment and innovation. Whether in the form of new partnerships, branding efforts, or other innovations, the property would need to differentiate itself from other casinos in the Atlantic City area.


Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City has had a rich and vibrant past, but as we have seen, this comes with significant challenges. To ensure a viable future for the casino, Showboat would need to differentiate itself from other gaming establishments and be future-focused in its approach. The tide may be against it, but with the right strategy and investments, the Showboat casino could once again become a destination for gaming and entertainment.

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