Atlantic City Casinos Stop Offering Free Self-Parking

Published on: September 2, 2023, 12:39h. 

Last updated on: September 1, 2023, 11:53h.

Atlantic City casinos are facing challenges in attracting visitors after the pandemic. Unfortunately, recent news isn’t helping the resort town.

Atlantic City casino parking
Harrah’s Atlantic City parking. Free self-parking has disappeared from Atlantic City casinos in recent years, but many guests can easily have their charges refunded. (Image: TripAdvisor)

Starting from September 1, no Atlantic City casinos are providing free self-parking to their visitors. While resorts often compensate parking charges after guests spend a certain amount, and casino rewards members can also have their parking fees refunded, the high parking rates may discourage potential visitors from visiting the East Coast casino capital.

Previously, both Las Vegas and Atlantic City offered free valet and self-parking to all patrons regardless of their spending levels and rewards statuses. However, this perk is no longer available.

In 2016, MGM Resorts started the trend of eliminating complimentary valet and self-parking in Las Vegas. Caesars Entertainment followed suit, leading to almost all properties on the Strip implementing parking charges. Similarly, Atlantic City casinos have also stopped offering free parking in recent years, although the resorts are not entirely to blame like their counterparts in Las Vegas.

State Parking Charge

New Jersey grants commercial casinos in Atlantic City in exchange for a significant portion of the gaming resorts’ revenue. In addition to the state collecting 8% of the gross gaming revenue generated by the nine casinos, there is also a $3 per day charge for each parking space occupied by casino patrons.

Each casino is responsible for tracking the number of parked cars in its garages and paying $3 per vehicle per day to the state. The parking fees quickly accumulate.

According to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, parking fees from the 2023 fiscal year that ended on June 30 amounted to over $18.6 million. However, parking fees have significantly decreased over the years due to new casino competition in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, leading to fewer visitors in Atlantic City.

For instance, in fiscal year 2007, parking fees totaled $37.3 million. By 2017, they had decreased to $20.1 million.

Atlantic City casinos do not fully pass on the state parking charges to their guests. Even non-rewards members who do not receive complimentary parking typically pay rates below what the state charges the casino.

Unlike Las Vegas, where parking rates are usually per 24 hours, Atlantic City casinos charge per visit. Rates also vary depending on demand at different properties.

Atlantic City Self-Parking Rates (per visit)

  • Bally’s — $10 to $25
  • Borgata — $10
  • Caesars — $10 to $25
  • Golden Nugget — $10
  • Hard Rock — dependent on demand
  • Harrah’s — $10 to $20
  • Ocean — $15
  • Resorts — $10 to $20
  • Tropicana — $25 to $30

Patrons can avoid these rates by carefully reviewing each casino’s specific parking policy. Sometimes, even a small purchase inside the casino can lead to validation of the parking ticket.

State Parking Revenue

The majority of New Jersey’s casino parking tax goes to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), the state governmental agency responsible for economic and community development in Atlantic City.

$2.50 of the $3 state parking levy is allocated to the CRDA, while the remaining $0.50 goes into the state’s Casino Revenue Fund. This fund is controlled by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury and is intended to benefit senior citizens and disabled residents in the state. Allocations are determined by the 15-person Casino Revenue Fund Advisory Committee.

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