Southern California Casinos Boast Expansions, Windfalls And State-Of-The-Art Slots

We’re less than halfway into April, and three Southern California casinos are already making headlines.

In the San Diego area, a blackjack player at Harrah’s Resort Southern California won a progressive jackpot worth over $1 million. Jamul Casino hit its own jackpot, securing funding worth $515 million to build a new hotel onsite.

In the Inland Empire, Yaamava’ Resort & Casino debuted a new slot machine from Everi Holdings Inc., Dynasty Vue. It was the third time in the last year that a manufacturer has chosen the casino to release new technology.

Two seven-figure jackpots at Harrah’s within months

A Harrah’s SoCal player won the Impressive Progressive jackpot worth $1,022,473 from a $5 wager at a blackjack table on April 7, a resort spokesperson told Fox 5.

“Her first two cards were each a 7 of diamonds. The dealer’s up card was a 7 of diamonds, giving her the three 7s in diamonds needed for the best Cash Spin wheel on that game. The wheel was spun and landed on 100% of the Ultra meter!”

The Impressive Progressive integrates all 51 casino table games into one accumulative jackpot. It has hit twice since last December, when an anonymous winner made a $5 progressive wager at EZ Baccarat and won $1,407,630.

Jamul stepping up to the big leagues

The Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation (JIVDC) and Jamul Casino announced on April 3 that it closed on $515 million of funding from a syndicate of commercial banks led by KeyBanc Capital Markets and Senior Secured Credit Facilities.

With the funding, JIVDC will soon break ground on a 16-story, 200-room hotel. It will feature 52 suites, a rooftop pool, spa and salon, lobby bar, restaurant and fitness center. It will be a AAA Four Diamond facility.

The casino has been open since October 2016. It offers no onsite lodging. It competes with at least seven casinos that have hotels within a two-hour drive: Sycuan, Viejas, Barona, Harrah’s, Pechanga, Pala and Valley View.

Mary Cheeks, president and general manager of Jamul Casino, was ecstatic over securing funding for the hotel.

“It’s very rewarding to see Jamul Casino’s success recognized by this team of lenders.  It speaks to the vision of our tribal board, the property leadership team, the dedication of our staff, and the loyalty of our guests. This comes at an exceptional time as we begin building a beautiful new hotel connected to the casino.”

The beginning of a Dynasty

Yaamava’ has become the chosen casino for new slot technology, doing so with three separate industry staples.

First, IGT debuted its DiamondRS slot cabinet in August 2022. Sega Sammy Creation launched its new game, “Resident Evil: Vendetta,” in November.

Now, Everi has paired with Yaamava’ to unveil its new Dynasty Vue, the first in a new line of slot machines in the appropriately named Dynasty family. It offers a captivating environment with a 36-inch display and an integrated 27-inch top box. 

Dynasty Vue’s main attraction is the Combo Cash Series, which has two main themes: Rockin’ Reels and Secret Treasures. The themes introduce “COMBO CA$H,” a twist on Everi’s Win What You See feature from the famous Cash Machine and Gold Standard Jackpots titles.

Dean Ehrlich, executive vice president and games business leader at Everi, said the company is excited to debut its new slot machine at Yaamava’.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Yaamava’ to introduce a new era in Everi’s hardware evolution. Their players will be the first to experience the cabinet’s immersive feel, coupled with our new Vue-exclusive game content.”

Kenji Hall, Yaamava’ COO, shared in the excitement, adding that Dynasty Vue delivers the cutting-edge gaming experience that guests expect.

Graton Casino also expanding operations

Further north, Graton Casino & Resort is eyeing a massive expansion project that would double its number of slot machines and add another hotel to the property. 

Graton has 3,000 slot machines, meaning another 3,000 would make it the second-largest in the state behind Yaamava’, which has 7,400 slots

Temecula’s Pechanga Resort & Casino is currently second with 5,400 slots.

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