Contrary To Old Taj Mahal, Poker Room Will Be Missing At Hard Rock Atlantic City

If you have dreams of taking your bankroll to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and making a big run in poker, you’ll have to adjust your plans.

There will be no poker tables at Hard Rock Atlantic City, according to, bringing an end to the hallowed halls of the former Trump Taj Mahal, where the property’s poker tables were home to legendary games.

However, poker will be available at Ocean Resort Casino, the property that will, along with Hard Rock, open June 28.

What Hard Rock Atlantic City will include

The Taj Mahal’s poker room closed for good in 2015 when the casino officially closed its doors. It was also home to the United States Poker Championship, which ran from 1996 to 2010.

Not having a poker room is a big changeup from the past. But to its credit, Hard Rock Atlantic City’s exclusion of a poker room doesn’t mean it will not be a destination dream.

The redesigned and renovated property will include 2,000 slot machines and 120 table games. A beach bar, restaurants including the iconic Hard Rock Cafe, and other interests will also be on site.

Hard Rock AC will also be a beacon of light for concert-goers with the Mark G. Etess Arena. The entertainment schedule promises 200 nights of live music, along with an opening weekend party with Pitbull and Carrie Underwood.

And, as with many other AC casinos, Hard Rock will likely offer sports betting including an online option once regulations are set. Its partnership with Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) means it has the tech to offer an online sportsbook.

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Hard Rock Atlantic City is not Ocean Resort Casino

The fact that Ocean Resort will have poker while Hard Rock Atlantic City will not is yet another nuance that makes the two properties so different and, as a result, so interesting since both are opening the same day.

The primary difference between Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock AC is each property’s timeline.

Hard Rock acquired the former Taj Mahal early in 2017 while Ocean Resort announced its acquisition of the property formerly known as Revel this past January.

Hard Rock Atlantic City has used its timeline to its advantage, sending out press releases to give the media and future patrons updates on what’s happening with the casino.

In addition to publicizing its progress, Hard Rock Atlantic City has the added benefit of being a global brand whose presence in Atlantic City has been an exclamation point on Atlantic City’s turnaround.

Ocean Resort Casino, on the other hand, has worked on a short timeline. It has only provided two press releases since AC Ocean Walk acquired the property: one announcing the group had bought the Revel property and another announcing that the hotel would be a part of the Hyatt brand.

The property is focusing on nuances not available at Hard Rock Atlantic City. For example, it will feature the world’s largest Top Golf Swing Suite, a lounge-style facility with 11 bays from which players aim for various targets in a virtual driving range.

To that end, Ocean Resort Casino’s inclusion of a poker room is also to its advantage since Hard Rock Atlantic City won’t have one. In the same way, Hard Rock’s exclusion of a poker room separates it from the specter of the Taj Mahal.

Atlantic City on their minds

Both Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen and AC Ocean Walk Chairman Bruce Deifik have made clear they’re both aware that their properties are a major part of Atlantic City’s financial resurrection.

In Ocean Resort’s press release about AC Ocean Walk’s acquisition of the old Revel property, Deifik had this to say about Ocean Resort’s role in Atlantic City’s rebirth:

“The former Revel property opened at a time when Atlantic City was still in economic recovery and operationally it just did not cater to the customer base for this destination. However, given the extraordinary quality and investment made during its development, the new “Ocean” will represent one of the finest hotel, casino properties in existence today in an improving market that has demonstrated strength and resilience.”

As noted earlier, both properties are scheduled to open on June 28. The anticipation is climbing.

About the Author

J.R. Duren

A three-time winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest, J.R. Duren works as a freelance writer with a focus on the NJ online gambling and online casino industry. He writes for a number of publications, including Bespoke Post, Our Amazing Norway, Barcelona Metropolitan, Snooth, and the Villages Daily Sun.