California Slots Casino Guide 2020

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 Versus California Slots

You can find tons of slot games to play in California, even for real money. But while playing slot machines and wagering real money is totally legal in Vegas, the same isn’t true for the Golden State.

Gambling for money is largely illegal in California, except for horse racing and 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 Indian 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, Pechanga Resort Casino is the largest in the entire state and features 4,500 slot machines in total across 188,000 ft.² 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-years-old instead of 18-years-old 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 few tribal casinos in California that allow 18-years-olds to enter.

Largest Northern California Slots Casinos In California

These are the two largest and most slot-intensive casinos in Northern California:

Cache Creek Casino

This newly-reopened tribal casino has a fantastic hotel coming in late 2021. At this time, it’s open 24 hours a day and features almost a 75,000 ft.² space with 2,400 slot machines. Over 300 of these machines are in a non-smoking area. There’s also 122 table games and a high-stakes table area that includes blackjack and baccarat.

You’ll be able to find most of the slots on the main casino floor, separated by a central area featuring table games. There’s also a high limit slots area on the north end of the casino. This is a perfect place if you enjoy slots with more on the line.

Regardless of the titles you choose, you’ll be able to join the casino’s club and benefit from tons of bonuses and high payback limits. The more you play, the more rewards you’ll earn as you spend time at this casino. It’s a great staple gaming establishment if you like to head to the slots every weekend as a hobby.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort

This Northern California tribal casino is located just outside Sacramento. The casino currently features nearly 145,000 ft.² of gaming space and is open 24 hours a day, with 2,800 slot machines and over 130 live poker and gaming tables. There’s also a 500-seat bingo area if you’re interested.

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.

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 In California

Here are the two largest Southern California slots casinos:

Pechanga Resort Casino

This is the largest of all California casinos, totaling 188,000 ft.² of gaming space and 4,500 slot machines, along with tons of table games and other entertainment activities and venues. 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.

Even better, the slot floor has been reworked since the COVID-19 pandemic. Games are now spaced about a machine’s width away to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Classic favorites and newer slot games alike can be found pretty easily, including state-of-the-art reel games, keno games, video poker games, video reels, and more.

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.

San Manuel Casino

This casino has also recently reopened after its COVID-19 closure. Originally a bingo-only casino, San Manuel Casino now hosts 4,800 slot machines and 120,000 ft.². It’s open 24 hours a day and features many additional table games and a poker room.

Like Pechanga, the casino has redesigned its gaming floor to ensure appropriate social distancing. 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.

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 FAQ

Do you still need to pay taxes on earnings from tribal CA casinos?

Yes. Even though you technically earn that money on tribal grounds, you’ll still need to pay taxes on it at the end of the year.

Who regulates California casinos?

The National Indian Gaming Commission is responsible for most casino regulation, except for a few high-stakes games and tournaments.

Why is gambling still illegal in California?

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.

Are online slots legal in California?

No. You can play Chumba Casino, LuckyLandSlots, and other sweepstakes slot sites, as these have you compete for digital currencies instead of real money.

Will slots become legal in California in the near future?

Not likely anytime soon. Sports betting and other types of gambling legislation are more likely than slots gambling to come to fruition in the coming years.

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