There are TONS of land-based casinos in America. In fact, most states have some kind of brick-and-mortar casinos – usually on Indian reservations. Just do a Google search and chances are you’ll find a casino near you. But what about the most popular casinos? The most popular gambling destinations?
Here are the cities you’ll want to check out:
Las Vegas, Nevada – There are more than 25 casinos directly on or around the corner from The Strip. A few of my favorites include The Venetian, MGM Grand, The Mirage and Treasure Island. If you head off The Strip be sure to check out the buffet at The M.
Atlantic City, New Jersey – Choose from options like Bally’s, Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Resorts, Harrah’s, Tropicana and Trump Taj Mahal.
Reno, Nevada – The little sister or cousin of Las Vegas, but still in its own fun way. Choose from casinos like Harrah’s, Eldorado, Atlantis, Peppermill and Silver Legacy.
Biloxi, Mississippi – Take your pick from Beau Rivage, Boomtown, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Harrah’s and Hollywood Casino.
Shreveport, Louisiana – This includes options like Boomtown, Diamond Jacks, Harrah’s, Horseshoe and Sam’s Town.
You’ll find plenty to do in any one of those cities, let alone all five of them. But what if you can’t make the casino? If you’re interested in playing casino games for real money without having to travel to a casino destination, check out our list of the best online casinos for US players.
Another option is to play from home – usually referred to as ‘social’ gambling. These are legal in roughly 2/3 of states. It’s only allowed if no one profits from running the game, which includes charging a fee, raking the pot, or charging people for food/beverages.
Definitely do your homework first, though. Some states DO NOT allow home poker games and are aggressive in stopping them – with SWAT. And, no, I am NOT joking.
Nevada (Las Vegas & Reno)
Known to many as the casino capital of the world, Las Vegas is the number one destination city for casinos and everything that goes along with them. For a long time, Las Vegas was the only place you went if you wanted to gamble in the US, as it legalized gambling in 1931. Today, people flock to Las Vegas’ strip from all over the world in order to visit some of the most highly distinguished casinos.
Each and every year, Las Vegas plays host to the most prestigious event in the casino world, and that is the World Series of Poker. This mid-summer event attracts millions of visitors and participants who hope to leave Sin City the poker professional they wished to be when they arrived.
When most people look into visiting casinos in Nevada, they often think of Las Vegas. Though Vegas may be considered a gambling mecca, Reno is extremely popular in its own right. Each year, Reno draws in over 5 million visitors. The city is home to a wide variety of resort-style casinos that offer 24/7 gambling in the form of table games, sportsbooks, and class III games.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City opened up its first legal casinos in the late 1970s after they were finally granted permission to exist by the state. The first casino to open its doors in Atlantic City was named Resorts and is still standing to this day. At the time Atlantic City legalized gambling in casinos, the only other place in the United States with legalized gambling was Las Vegas. For people who lived closer to the North East, Atlantic City was a much more viable vacation destination than Las Vegas. Not only that, but the proximity to the ocean made Atlantic City a more reasonable vacation destination to take the whole family.
Now, more than 30 years after the first casino opened up, Atlantic City remains the most popular casino destination on the Eastern side of the United States.
California is arguably the most well-known state in all of the United States, so it makes sense that they offer a wide selection of casinos. Since 2000, casinos in the state have been growing faster than ever. While there has been card rooms and horse tracks for a long time, mega-casinos are starting to pop up throughout the state. The most unique dynamic of California is found in its different types of casinos. Some destinations have hundreds or thousands of machines, while others have zero. Learn what makes this state’s casinos so attractive and unique.
Casinos in California exist in much the same way as they do in Florida and other states, with one general exception. Though it is true that the only conventional casinos are owned by Native Americans, and thus exist in obscure locations (for the most part), the other half of the story is that instead of gambling solely at dog and horse tracks, California has a growing number of card rooms.
Card rooms are essentially casinos which only offer table games like blackjack and poker. In California, many card rooms are located at racetracks, but more recently a growing number of them are thriving as standalone establishments as well.
Pennsylvania (along with Delaware and Maryland) has become the primary competition to Atlantic City, which once stood as the only place on the East Coast to gamble. Casinos in Pennsylvania originally offered only slot machines, however, they now offer virtually every table game that you will find in other large gambling cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Casinos in Pennsylvania saw their biggest growth between the mid to late 2000s, and almost every area of the state has at least one casino in its region, with the Eastern region being most heavily populated.
Casinos in Florida exist sparsely when compared to places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Unlike New Jersey and Las Vegas, the only casinos that exist are under the control of the Native American tribes. While these casinos are fine to play at, they do not exist in abundance and because of this Floridians and those traveling there are confined to dog racetracks if they hope to gamble at an establishment now owned by Native Americans. With that being said, apart from some poker rooms and slot machines, many of these dog tracks are ill-equipped in terms of table games and slot machines.
Ohio is another US territory that sees brick-and-mortar gambling as a very modern addition. As is the case with states like Delaware and Pennsylvania, this state only recently began to offer slots and ultimately table games.
Ohio is unique in that it is not near a heavily concentrated gambling destination, as you would find with PA or DE as they relate to Atlantic City or Las Vegas when it competes with California Ohio has a number of different gaming brands represented within the state.
Oklahoma first started offering traditional casinos in 2004 and has since become one of the largest gambling destinations in the USA. Today it features over 90 different Native American casinos, including the largest casino in the United States.
Some towns are not nearly as well known as others, but they still are most renowned for their gambling options. One such area where this is true in South Dakota. These cities are outlined and broken down on their own one-page articles which can be found in this section.