Deal Me In
TWIN PINE CASINO & HOTEL
Situated in the middle of the Northern California wine country near the border of Lake and Napa counties, Twin Pine Casino & Hotel, above, makes the most of its location by offering daily wine tastings and a Winery of the Month event.
In the olden days—the
days of Frank Sinatra and Bugsy Siegel—u.s. gamblers looking for a date with Lady Luck had one option: Las Vegas. Nowadays, with changes to gambling laws in many states, it’s a safe bet that bettors can throw down their cash just about anywhere. Of all the states that now offer gambling, the best (and most plentiful) options are in California.
The Golden State has two choices for people looking to place bets: Native American casinos, and card rooms (which are glorified bars where gambling is legal, so long as the house doesn’t win).
The Native American outposts tend to be farther from major cities but offer nicer digs. They have slots. They have table games. They even have bingo. Many of these wagering wonderlands are “Vegasstyle” resorts, complete with luxury hotels, top-notch restaurants and indulgent spas. A few of the properties even have their own golf courses.
Card rooms are smaller, quieter and, in many cases, more geared toward locals. Games here are far less varied—in most cases, as the name suggests, only card games are available. The upside? Gambling action is usually loose (and that’s a good thing).
We’ve divided California’s gambling scene into four distinct geographical regions. Wherever you go, bet wisely, and remember to stay within your means.