In California, you can enjoy most types of gambling to some extent, even though most forms of gambling are illegal within its borders. Currently, slot games are illegal in California but can be found at tribal casinos, which operate on reservation land and are not beholden to CA law.
Below we present a breakdown of what types of slot games you can find in California and how they differ from Las Vegas’ slot game offerings.
Vegas-Style Slots vs. California Slots
You can find tons of slot games to play in at California tribal casinos for real money. But while playing slot machines and wagering real money is totally legal in Vegas, the same isn’t true for the California outside Indian casinos.
Gambling for money is largely illegal in California, except for CA horse betting and CA daily fantasy sports. Indian casinos get around this legal restriction since they operate on sovereign Indian ground. Therefore, you can play slots in California so long as they are within a legally operating tribal casino establishment.
Similarities and Differences
Virtually all forms of gambling are legal in Las Vegas, whether for money, digital sweeps coins, or other types of currency. In Las Vegas, you can find all types of slot machines and games in the variety of casinos there. In California, slot games are limited to Indian casinos.
However, this isn’t to say that you won’t find plenty of variety at those tribal casinos. Indeed, many of the largest tribal casinos have thousands of slot machines and tons of variety for slot game enthusiasts to enjoy. For instance, Yaamava’ Resort & Casino offers 7,000 slot machines and 290,000 square feet of gaming space.
There is a shared similarity between California and Las Vegas slots. In most cases, you need to be 21 years old to play slots. Although the legal gambling age in California is 18 years old, tribal casinos can set their own legal gambling age. Most of them err on the side of caution and set this to 21 instead of 18 since they serve alcohol on their open gambling floors.
They do this so they don’t accidentally serve alcohol to any underage gamblers. There are only a handful of California casinos that allow 18-year-olds.
Largest Northern California Slots Casinos
These are the two largest and most slot-intensive casinos in the Northern California gambling scene:
Thunder Valley Casino Resort
The largest Northern California casino, Thunder Valley Casino Resort offers 3,400 slot machines to choose from, as well as 110 gaming tables, a 50-table poker room, and 270,000 square feet of gaming space.
Beyond gambling, guests can also stay at the 400-room hotel, eat at one of the seven eateries, or watch a performance at the 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater.
The slots you can find range from classic reel favorites, like Quick Hits, to newer slot games like Willy Wonka’s Munchkinland. The variety of slot machines is truly staggering and slot game enthusiasts will find a lot to like as they tour the expansive space. New and exciting slot machines are usually added to a dedicated spot in Thunder Valley’s Pano Hall. This way, you don’t have to hunt for new games if you check out this casino frequently.
Slot game bets range from one cent up to $100 depending on your preference. There’s also a smoke-free slots room, plus a bonus strike jackpot system that all players can partake in. Players can enjoy extra rewards like chances for bonus jackpots if they sign up for a Thunder Rewards Card.
Red Hawk Casino
Red Hawk Casino, an official partner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kinds, boasts 2,500 slot machines, 75 table games, a seven-table poker room, and 88,000 square feet of gaming space. New slot machines include Diamond Big Super Six Spin, 88 Link Wild Duels, Let’s Spin, Tiki Fortune, and Captain Riches.
Here are all the tribal slots casinos operating currently in Northern California:
- Bear River Casino
- Black Oak Casino
- Cache Creek Casino
- Cer-Ae Heights Bingo and Casino
- Chicken Ranch Casino
- Chuckchansi Gold Resort & Casino
- Colusa Casino Resort
- Coyote Valley Casino
- Desert Rose Casino
- Diamond Mountain Casino
- Eagle Mountain Casino
- Elk Valley Casino
- Feather Falls Casino and Lodge
- Garcia River Casino
- Gold Country Casino
- Graton Resort & Casino
- Hard Rock Fire Mountain Casino
- Harrah’s Northern California Casino
- Hidden Oaks Casino
- Hopland So-Ka-Wah Casino & Bingo
- Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
- Konocti Vista Casino Resort, Marina & RV Park
- Lucky 7 Casino
- Lucky Bear Casino
- Mechoopda Casino Project
- Mono Wind Casino
- North Fork Rancheria Resort Hotel & Casino
- Paiute Palace Casino
- Pit River Casino
- Playstation 777
- Rain Rock Casino
- Red Fox Casino & Bingo
- Red Hawk Casino
- Redwood Hotel Casino
- River Rock Casino
- Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino
- Rolling Hills Casino
- Running Creek Casino
- San Pablo Lytton Casino
- Sherwood Valley Casino
- Table Mountain Casino
- Tachi Palace Casino Resort
- Thunder Valley Casino
- Twin Pine Casino
- Win-River Casino
- Winnedumah Winn’s Casino
Largest Southern California Slots Casinos
Here are the two largest Southern California slots casinos:
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino
Formerly San Manuel Casino, Yaamava’ Resort & Casino is the largest casino in California and, by number of slot machines, the largest on the West Coast. It offers more than 7,000 slot machines, 150 table games, a 38-table poker room, and 290,000 square feet of gaming space. It’s open 24 hours a day.
There are two stories across which you can find slot games, including video reels, video keno, progressive jackpots, mystery jackpots, and more; 120 video poker machines are also scattered throughout the space. You’ll be able to find slot games that range from penny slots to high limit slots depending on how risky you are feeling on a given day.
New slot machines are added pretty frequently, so the floor is almost always shifting and changing from season to season. You can find classics and new and noteworthy slot machines at this time, with new and innovative titles on the way.
Pechanga Resort Casino
Pechanga Resort Casino is the second-largest California casino. It offers 5,400 slot machines, 152 table games, a 38-table poker room, and 200,000 square feet of gaming space. It’s located in Riverside County, so it’s also very close to wine country. It’s a phenomenal casino since it’s open 24 hours a day and features an expansive slot floor.
The casino makes use of a ticketing system so you can enjoy all the games you like before turning in your total winnings. Slot machine enthusiasts will also really appreciate that this casino constantly updates their game selection, bringing in new titles every few months and filtering out old, lesser played games in order to make space.
Ultimately, it’s a slot player’s dream location, with something new almost every time you pay a visit.
Here is our round-up of slots casinos in Southern California:
- Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage
- Augustine Casino
- Barona Resort & Casino
- Barstow Casino and Resort Project
- Cahuilla Casino
- Casino Pauma
- Chumash Casino Resort
- Fantasy Springs Casino
- Golden Acorn Casino
- Harrah’s Resort Southern California
- Havasu Landing Resort & Casino
- Jamul Casino
- La Jolla Trading Post & Casino
- Morongo Casino Resort Spa
- Morongo Travel Center
- Pala Casino Spa Resort
- Pechanga Resort & Casino
- Quechan Casino Resort
- Red Earth Casino
- San Manuel Casino
- Soboba Casino
- Spotlight 29 Casino
- Sycuan Casino
- Tortoise Rock Casino
- Valley View Casino
- Viejas Casino
California Slots Casinos FAQs
Yes. Even though you technically earn that money on tribal grounds at California Indian casinos, you’ll still need to pay taxes on it at the end of the year.
The National Indian Gaming Commission is responsible for most casino regulation, except for a few high-stakes games and tournaments.
Mostly because California’s Native American tribes have made it difficult to pass pro-gambling legislation in the state senate, as it represents a big source of income for the tribes. However, CA sports betting will soon be legal as Californians vote between Prop 26, which would allow in-person betting at tribal casinos, and Prop 27, which would allow online sports betting, this November.
No. But you can play Chumba Casino, LuckyLandSlots, and other California online casino sites that have you compete for digital currencies that can be exchanged for cash prizes.
Not likely any time soon. Sports betting and other types of CA gambling legislation are more likely than slots gambling to come to fruition soon.