Some say that the best Indian casinos are all in Southern California, but Thunder Valley Casino Resort throws a wrench in that theory. Located 30 miles northeast of Sacramento, Thunder Valley is a true gem among California casinos.
It features thousands of slot machines, a diverse array of table games, a dedicated poker room, and a phenomenal hotel and spa. Below, we’ll explain its specific offerings.
Thunder Valley Casino Fact Table
|Address||1200 Athens Avenue, Lincoln, CA 95648|
|Number of Slot Games||3,400+|
|Minimum Gambling Age||21|
Games to Enjoy at Thunder Valley
Guests at Thunder Valley can enjoy over 3,400 slot machines, including many classic reel games like Triple Diamond and Quick Hits. Slot games like Farmville and Lightning Link are also available.
There’s a modern section called Pano Hall where guests can find some of the most exciting slot machines to spin. Even better, there are designated “Wayfinder” kiosks to help you locate your ideal slot machines throughout the expansive gaming floor.
All slot machine players are automatically entered into a Thunder Strike jackpot that can strike on any of the slot machines on the gaming floor, with payouts between $50,000 and $150,000.
There is, however, no sports betting, as California sportsbooks are still not legal after the 2022 election.
In addition to slots, Thunder Valley has 110 tables with games ranging from baccarat to blackjack. Other table games you can find include:
- Criss Cross
- Four Card Poker
- Free Bet Blackjack
- Spanish 21
- Fortune Pai Gow
- Thunder Valley Craps
Beyond table games, casino guests should also check out the dedicated poker room. Here, you’ll find 50 comfortable tables with plenty of seating.
Daily poker tournaments are ideal for both beginners and poker enthusiasts. And for the real fanatics, WSOP Thunder Valley comes to town once a year. Regular challenges and prize giveaways add some excitement to the mix at this poker room and provide plentiful entertainment, even if you’re a regular at this casino.
Then, there are the Bingo offerings at Thunder Valley. This smoke-free Bingo room is located right next to the poker room and is designed to accommodate up to 800 players. Anti-fatigue custom seating, reserved booth seating, and a snack bar provide plentiful accommodations and amenities for Bingo fanatics.
Additional benefits include complimentary self-serve beverages and some of the best audio and visual Bingo systems you’ll find in California; 27 Bingo games in total are offered in this room, and on a rotating basis.
High Limit Gaming
Lastly, high stakes gaming fans will appreciate the Thunder Valley VIP high limit space. These gaming salons offer over 100 high limit slot machines and come with dedicated dealers. Flatscreen TVs and betting options from $100 up to $5,000 on any game you like make it one of the most luxurious gaming locations you’ll experience.
Thunder Valley Events and Dining
In addition to gaming, Thunder Valley hosts events around the year. It features two main venues: an outdoor amphitheater and Pano Hall.
The outdoor amphitheater is perfect for concerts and features two large video screens on each side of the main stage. Food trucks and outdoor restrooms are usually attached to major events.
Pano Hall, which includes 900 seats, is an ideal venue for mainline entertainment events like comedy performances, conferences, and talks.
Magic, music, televised sports events, and other events crop up from time to time thanks to the casino’s busy schedule. While it’s currently on hiatus due to the coronavirus, events normally run throughout the entire year.
Thunder Valley Casino offers a number of dining options for guests. There’s a buffet, for starters, which is open most hours of the day and perfect for early-morning or late-night munching. There are also several casual dining restaurants such as:
- High Steaks, a steakhouse and luxurious restaurant
- Thunder Café, a place for small bites
- Dos Coyotes, one of the best Mexican restaurants around
- Red Lantern, a Chinese sit-down restaurant
All in all, there are tons of things to experience and plenty of top dining locations to enjoy when you visit Thunder Valley Casino Resort.
Thunder Valley Casino’s History
Thunder Valley Casino Resort got its start thanks to the United Auburn Indian Community, which includes members of the Maidu and Miwuk tribes. These tribes banded together when the United States government terminated several California mini-reservations. They began the casino as a way to lift themselves out of poverty after Congress restored their federal status in 1994.
September 1999 saw the tribe enter into a tribal-state gaming compact with California, allowing them to offer legal gambling activities despite California’s anti-gambling legislation.
Thunder Valley officially opened in 2003, though it began expanding only six years later in March 2009. This expansion was completed in 2010.
An additional expansion in 2018 added another 25,000 square feet for extra slot machines. It also included an expansion for the Bingo hall and the construction of the poker room. Today, Thunder Valley is one of the most popular and luxurious casinos in the Sacramento area.
Check out our Guide to California Tribal Casinos.
Thunder Valley Casino Resort FAQs
The luxury hotel is 17 stories tall and includes 408 rooms with 46 suites.
Yes. Thunder Valley offers both self-parking and valet parking.
Yes. The casino allows you to host many types of events including weddings and conferences. You will need to reserve one of the venues and/or hotel rooms well ahead of time given the casino resort’s popularity.
The National Indian Gaming Commission is in charge of regulating games at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, along with all other Indian casinos.
The reason is to prevent underage adults from drinking alcohol, which is served relatively freely on the Thunder Valley premises.
However, underage guests may go to any restaurant or the gift shop as long as they are accompanied by a legal guardian at all times (and the legal guardian is 21-years-old or older). See our guide to 18+ gambling in California.