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HOME > > Top 10 non-Las Vegas casinos I want to visit

Top 10 non-Las Vegas casinos I want to visit

10 June 2024

By Dan Ippolito

Over the years, I have travelled to Las Vegas a few times to explore the pool scenes, hotels, casinos and nightlife. But the U.S. has much more to offer in the casino-resort area than just one Strip. I have been to Connecticut to stop in at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino multiple times as well, but I want to add more to my list of casinos attended. Here, I take a look at 10 casinos outside of Las Vegas that I want to plan a trip to.

10. Turning Stone
Usually once a year, I make my way up to the Saratoga area for a day at the Saratoga Race Course and as part of that weekend, I tend to make a pit stop at Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady for a few table games and the occasional slot machine.

There is another New York casino that has been on my radar – Turning Stone Resort Casino. Located in Verona, the property houses over 2,000 slots to go with its 66 live tables.

A major reason for my interest is the food options at Turning Stone. Just last month, the Casino Player Magazine Best Dining & Nightlife Awards handed the property 14 awards, including #1 Best Overall Dining.

Also, in December, Turning Stone opened its new lounge and sportsbook, the NY Rec & Social Club. NY Rec & Social Club transitioned into a sportsbook and lounge, complete with a live DJ. The new venue also features table games, such as blackjack, social games including foosball, shuffleboard and billiards and can accommodate seating for nearly 200 guests on the first-level with additional seating on the expansive outdoor patio. The upper level can be reserved for private events.

9. Casino Del Sol
Casino Del Sol is home to nearly 1,000 gaming machines to compliment the 38 table and poker games inside the 160,000-square-foot casino.

You can grab a drink at one of the two bars, or fill up your stomach at any of the 14 restaurants the Arizona resort has to offer.

Arizona has been on my list to travel to for a few years now and part of that has to do with wanting to golf there.

Casino Del Sol’s golf course, Sewailo celebrated its 10th anniversary in December and is a very well-recognized course, receiving awards including Golf Advisor and Golf Digest’s Top Courses in Arizona, Golf Week’s Best Courses You Can Play in Arizona and Golf Magazine’s Best Public Courses.

The course features a driving range and practice areas for chipping, bunker play and putting. Each hole was designed to bring the natural desert landscape of Tucson into play.

Sewailo measures over 7,400 yards from the championship tees. Now, would I be playing from the tips? Probably not. But the course has five separate tee boxes for players of all abilities.

8. Pechanga
Staying out on the west coast, in California, Pechanga Resort & Casino is a much larger property than Casino Del Sol.

The Temecula resort has over 1,000 rooms, more than 5,000 gaming machines and just shy of 200 table games sitting across 300,000 square feet.

What drew my attention to Pechanga is the pool area. Spanning over 4.5 acres, the four pools, are surrounded by cabanas, daybeds and features a swim-up bar as well.

There are also two waterslides in the oasis and no matter how old I get, you will still find me having fun going down one of those.

7. Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel
Another casino in California that cracks my list is Yaamava’ Resort & Casino. With 130 table games available, the 120,000-square-foot casino provides plenty of opportunities to grab a seat to play blackjack, which is my favorite game to sit at.

In fact, over the weekend, a lucky blackjack player hit it big being dealt three seven of diamonds to land the progressive of $156,557. After winning an amount like that, you’d have to celebrate with a good meal and if you are at this resort, I would head on over to Pines after what I have read about it.

Pines was named the #1 Best Casino Restaurant in USA TODAY's 2023 Readers' Choice Awards, the 2022 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient, and the Inland Empire Magazine readers' choice for Best Restaurant for three consecutive years from 2018 to 2020.

I hear that 12 oz. filet calling my name accompanied by a nice Pinot Noir.

6. Borgata
Let’s bring it back east for a minute and check out Atlantic City with Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa.

When I am looking for a resort to stay at, I always to check out the rooms on the website to see if they look renovated and modern. Just last year, the resort underwent a $55 million remodel of the renamed MGM Tower.

The new offering features more than 700 reimagined guestrooms and add a collection of Vista Suites located at the tower's corners with wraparound views of the Atlantic City skyline.

While I have never been to AC, I’d like to drive southbound to stay in one of these new rooms and head downstairs to enjoy one of their 327 tables for gambling.

Even though I am more of a scotch or whiskey person, the Gypsy Tequila Bar is something I’d dabble in to grab a margarita or maybe test a few different tequilas out with a flight.

5. Agua Caliente Palm Springs
Years ago when I was a teenager, I took a family trip out to Palm Desert and spent some time in Palm Springs as well. Obviously not being of age to gamble at the time, I wasn’t really intrigued or curious if and when we drove by the casino, but today I would be.

While the casino is on the smaller side at 30,000 square feet, that doesn’t deter me from wanting to go. Important factors to me are, cleanliness, games offered and a friendly staff. With 22 tables and around 900 slots, I am sure I would be able to find something I want to play.

For the non-gambling side, I think I would have to stop in at Café One Eleven. On Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the dining venue is offering brunch with bottomless mimosas.

Starting the day with a few mimosas and brunch before heading out to the pool or the blackjack table? Sign me up.

4. Atlantis Casino Resort
Let’s move over to Nevada but we are staying out of Las Vegas, so we are looking at Reno with Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa.

The Reno property is recognized as a AAA Four Diamond resort and offers a number of different types of rooms and suites. If you are a shopper, this will be a place you want to stop at for The Shoppes Atlantis featuring brands like COACH and Versace to name a couple.

As I mentioned, blackjack is my game, and I would love to enter a tournament which Atlantis offers players and the casino is hosting one later this month with a $40,000 prize pool and $10,000 going to the winner.

That’s not the only way to make some money at this casino, Just over a year ago, a guest picked the right slot out of the more than 1,400 offered. The anonymous guest played Megabucks Mega Vault for 40 minutes before hitting the biggest slot machine win in Reno history. The official value of the record-setting jackpot was $14,005,833.17.

3. Grand Sierra
Another resort residing in Reno I’d like to stop in at would be Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. Totaling 1,900 rooms from its two hotels, Grand Sierra has plenty of space for guests. Just under the 100,000-square-foot mark, the casino still has 57 tables and more than 1,300 gaming machines.

I’d also make my way over to the pool and grab maybe a Mudslide or a Tropical Mojito from the Bar & Grill while I lay out on my pool chair. Also included in the outdoor area, is an infinity pool, two hot tubs, and a fire pit lounge that is open year-round.

If you want to get an activity in before lounging out by the pool, head over to the Grand Bay Driving Range where you can aim to hit one of the eight island greens.

Not a bad day, work on my approach game (which can use some work) and then grab a burger and drink by the pool and soak in some sun.

2. WinStar World
I’ve been to MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. I have been to Foxwoods, but I have not been to the biggest casino in the U.S., according to Techopedia. WinStar World Casino and Resort’s website states it is “home to nine globally-themed gaming plazas stretching along a mile of gaming floor.”

I don’t think anyone would have a problem finding a game or table they’d want to play at inside this Oklahoma casino.

But it is not just a massive casino, WinStar can compete with the other resorts in other categories with its spa, pool, shopping options and golf course. That doesn’t even include the 20 restaurants available for guests to appease their taste buds.

1. Beau Rivage
This list concludes with a property from Biloxi, Mississippi.

For years, I have heard nonstop great things from people who have been to Beau Rivage Resort & Casino and that includes our own Gary Trask.

Before we get into the gambling figures, a highlight of this property is the golf aspect. When I take a trip in nice weather, I usually try to squeeze in a round if I can, but it would be a must when going to Beau Rivage.

If you stay at the resort, you gain exclusive access to the famous course, along with transportation that just so happens to be a limo. If you are a golfer, how can you not jump at that opportunity?

Now, back to betting. The Mississippi resort opened a smoke-free poker room six months ago featuring 12 tables. The space also includes a four-window cashier’s cage, forms display and a dozen 65-inch and larger HDTVs for keeping up with the latest sports action.

Back in March, Beau Rivage began celebrating its 25th anniversary festivities, which included a 500-drone show lighting up the Mississippi Gulf Coast sky.

You can head into the casino that features nearly 100 tables or swing by The Buffet which sits next to the poker room. More live cooking stations, including a Mongolian grill and a waffle area, have been incorporated. But don’t forget to try the classic Seafood Gumbo before you leave.

Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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