All California Casinos!
You may be new to these pages, but we've been around awhile. In 2001, we published what may have been the very first statewide California gaming guide: California Casino News.
We feature key info & links to California Casinos, California Card Rooms, Horse Racing, casino jobs & training, a Player's Book Store loaded with books on play strategy, a Game Rules page, and lots of general California Recreation information. There's plenty to seen and do - before or after your gaming session.
You'll find the traffic & weather info you need on every casino & card room directory page, on our Explore California page, and on the main site menu.
There's a lot to absorb here - but no pressure. Browse at your leisure. Jump to any section, read a little, then come back for more when you have time.
If you do nothing else, please review these personal security tips.
A UNIQUE SITUATION - There's no place like California anywhere else on earth. It's a great gaming destination, but offers so many other things to do. Casinos in California aren’t stacked up next to each other the way they are in Vegas or Atlantic City. When I was growing up, Las Vegas was the only game in town, so to speak. In this case, "town" being the entire country. Then Atlantic City came along. That was still IT for a very long time. Today casinos are liable to pop up anywhere, although some places with casinos don't offer much else to do. California, on the other hand, has it all. You can surf, ski, hike, and hit the casinos -- all on the same day.
WHERE AND WHAT TO PLAY - The Golden State offers a wide range of gaming opportunities; from spanking new Indian casinos to card rooms and race tracks that have been around for years. In the preceding century, if you wanted to do much more than play poker in one of the few California cities that allowed it, you were forced to travel outside the state. Horse racing has been big since the 1930's, but legal casinos were non-existent. With the establishment of Tribal-State Gaming Compacts and the passage of Prop 1A in 2000, the picture changed dramatically.
AGE REQUIREMENTS - How old do you have to be to gamble in California casinos? It depends. The answer is 21 in a non-Indian gaming establishment, as stipulated in California Gambling Control Act Section 19932, but just 18 in Indian casinos, as stipulated in Tribal-State Gaming Compact Section 6.3. However, that minimum increases to 21 if alcoholic beverages are being consumed in the gaming area. Whatever the case may be, if a casino wants to make the minimum age to gamble 21, they may do so. They have been known to change the rules with little or no notice. If you’re between 18 and 21, call ahead to make sure you can play!
FEATURED GAMES - Non-Indian California casinos are still quite limited in the games of chance they're allowed to offer, but California Indian casinos feature most of the games visitors to Vegas are accustomed to, with the exception of roulette and craps. Those games are offered, but with a twist. Learn more on our Game Rules page.
THE FUTURE IS NOW – Even years after its implementation, the controversy surrounding legalized gambling in California isn't over. Some local communities, environmentalists, and outside gaming interests continue to fight the expansion of California gaming. As time passes, however, with rare exception, we are discovering that the awful increase in crime and traffic some predicted never materialized. There ARE a few establishments that could use beefed up security, and traffic can back up around some of them, sorry to say. Those issues seem to be more prevalent at casinos located closest to large metropolitan areas, which understandably draw larger crowds.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS - Rent money is for rent, gambling money is for gambling, and the two should never mingle in the same pocket, let alone on the tables or in a slot machine. We understand the concerns of some who believe that gambling destroys lives. As usual, it all comes down to personal responsibility and self-discipline. If you don't possess these qualities, then you have hard lessons to learn. Misguided people misuse alcohol, guns, cars, and a lot of other things, legal and illegal, that have been around for a long, long time. If you are an otherwise intelligent individual who loses control when you walk into a casino--if you get sucked in by the bright lights and dizzying possibilities and find yourself repeatedly going overboard, then we suggest you seek help from people who have been there. Contact the California Council On Problem Gambling. You may also be interested in the Gamble Box , a device you take with you to the casino to stuff occasional winnings into, and that you can't open until you get home - as long as you leave the key behind.
ARE WE HAVING FUN YET? - Hopefully! That's largely up to you. Putting together a plan in advance and budgeting for the trip helps. Check traffic and the latest gas prices before you head out. You may want to lower expectations of winning a bunch of money. It could happen, but the edge always goes to the house. The whole idea of visiting a casino is to break up the monotony of the daily grind and cut loose a bit. It's possible to end up ahead of the game - once in awhile. If it happens, great! If not, you had some fun and will live to play another day. If you just break even, that's good, too. Nothing like a trip that pays for itself!
SECURITY IS JOB ONE - YOURS - Take an active role in protecting yourself. If you do hit it big, ask the casino for a cashier’s check or a direct deposit to your financial institution. Failing that, at the very least request a security escort to your vehicle. Be very careful and make sure no one is shadowing you. Someone may try to follow you home and rob you there. Not a pleasant subject. It's a very rare occurrence, actually, but it has happened - and you need to be aware. Learn how to protect yourself in a variety of situations by visiting the National Crime Prevention Council.
IF YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED - Call the police! If possible, drive to their nearest station - ask to be met outside - do NOT exit your vehicle until you are sure you are safe. Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up! Lock your doors at all times -- good general advice whether you've been to a casino or not. Always keep windows rolled up when stopped at intersections. You can roll 'em back down when you get to a speed where nobody on foot can easily grab or threaten you.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHILE IN THE CASINO - Big jackpots or table wins often elicit squeals of joy from the recipient. Stifle that as much as possible! Give yourself a little golf clap instead, if you must. You can holler for joy later. Keep it low-key. You don’t want to draw the attention of less fortunate, perhaps less scrupulous patrons. If you’re staying on the property and there’s a safe in your room, when you are sure no one is following you, you might want to head there and leave a chunk of your winnings in the safe. Be aware of your surroundings, what people might be doing near you, and of your own behavior. Casino security officers may do their best to protect you, but even they can't be everywhere. Don't freak out or act overly paranoid, but by all means watch your own back, and when out with partners or friends, watch out for each other.
SIGN YOUR LOTTERY TICKETS - On the back of tickets are blank spaces to write your name, phone number, address, and signature. If you'd rather not write your address, that's fine, but at least add your phone number, then print and sign your name. Sometimes the lines show up more than once. Fill them all out, so that if anyone finds or steals it, they can't add their name to it and then take you to court to let the judge decide who is the legitimate owner. After signing each ticket, take photos of the front and back showing the code numbers of each ticket. Store the pics in a secure off-line location - and good luck! You may have other legal options. Consult an attorney. We do not give legal advice and we specifically disclaim legal responsibility for any claim you make.
THANKS FOR VISITING! Poke around the site and let us know what you feel could be improved.
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