Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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In the olden days—the days of Frank Sinatra and Bugsy Siegel—U.S. gamblers looking for a date with Lady Luck had one option: Las Vegas. Nowadays, with changes to gambling laws in many states, it's a safe bet that bettors can throw down their cash just about anywhere. Of all the states that now offer gambling, the best (and most plentiful) options are in California. The Golden State has two choices for people looking to place bets: Native Amer- ican casinos, and card rooms (which are glorified bars where gambling is legal, so long as the house doesn't win). The Native American outposts tend to be farther from major cities but offer nicer digs. They have slots. They have table games. They even have bingo. Many of these wagering wonderlands are "Vegas- style" resorts, complete with luxury hotels, top-notch restaurants and indulgent spas. A few of the properties even have their own golf courses. Card rooms are smaller, quieter and, in many cases, more geared toward locals. Games here are far less varied—in most cases, as the name suggests, only card games are available. The upside? Gambling action is usually loose (and that's a good thing). We've divided California's gambling scene into four distinct geographical regions. Wherever you go, bet wisely, and remember to stay within your means. San Francisco Bay Area & Beyond Without question, the Bay Area is the most exciting region of California for gambling, with more options than any other part of the state. It also is home to the newest major spot to let chips fly: Graton Resort & Casino. This attraction, located in Rohnert Park, is a hulking casino built and operated by Station Casinos, one of the largest casino CA.CASINOS 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A 71 Rolling High Look out Las Vegas, California has become a gambling destination, too BY MATT VILLANO PECHANGA CASINO The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula opened in 2002, and is still the largest casino in California. The resort is the biggest employer in the Temecula Valley, a place the Pechanga people have called home for more than 10,000 years.

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