Land-based casino environment
There has been gambling in California almost since the territory became a state.
Poker, never illegal under the state’s constitution, has maintained a presence with dedicated cardrooms in various forms since 1850. Indeed, the Commerce Casino, a card room in Los Angeles (well, Commerce), is home to the largest poker room in the world. Up and down the West Coast, the discriminating poker player can find excellent choices.
However, the picture is a bit more limited for slots players. Officially, slot machines are only permitted on tribal lands in California.
California tribal casinos
Until 2000, there were no Las Vegas-style casinos in the state. However, in that year, voters passed Proposition 1A, a constitutional amendment. This allowed Native American tribes to enter into individual licenses (or compacts) with the state.
As a result, as long as a tribe maintained its side of the bargain with regard to revenue goals, revenue sharing, and services provided to its population, tribes could build and operate full casinos.
Interestingly enough, California does not permit traditional craps or roulette, due to the fact that those games use dice and a ball, respectively. Consequently, the tribal casinos developed, at least in the case of craps, a version wherein the outcome is determined by cards, rather than dice. This makes it legal to operate under the compact.
Native American tribes in California now operate 69 different gambling facilities. Within those casinos, the discriminating slots player will have over 70,000 machines to choose from. They will also find over 2,000 table games.
Many of these casinos are smaller than resort casinos, with roughly 1,000 machines. However, there are some larger resorts that dot the map. Pechanga Casino Temecula is the largest Native American resort in the western United States. There is also San Manuel, which offers 3,000 slot machines and 144,000 square feet of gaming space to its customers.
California gamblers have a wealth of options when it comes to their gaming desires. This is due to the fact that the casinos are spread throughout the state and 30 different counties (irrespective of the card rooms, which are not covered in this description). Below is a list of the largest Native American casinos in California.
Land-based slots options
|Property||Location||Number of Slots
|Pechanga Resort and Casino||Temecula||4,900
|San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino||Highland||3,000
|Thunder Valley Casino||Lincoln||2,800
|Morongo Casino Resort and Spa||Cabazon||2,408
|Pala Casino Resort and Spa||Pala||2,250
|Red Hawk Casino||Placerville||2,100
|Viejas Casino and Turf Club||Alpine||2,000
|Barona Resort and Casino||Lakeside||2,000