In the opening quarter of the 20th century, casinos were filled with quality alcohol (which may sound strange, but the Prohibition Era was a thing back then), men and women in fancy dresses, and crime syndicates. Gambling houses became synonymous with characters such as Meyer Lansky, Arnold Rothstein, and Bugsy Siegel. Afterwards, when the US government successfully put a stop to the golden era of mob families, casinos moved on to greener, more legal pastures.
Nevertheless, it stuck with what it offered initially. When you go to a casino, it’s not just playing games that you buy — it’s the whole experience. You dress up nice, you surround yourself with luxury, and you basically leave your everyday life so that you can pretend you’re a movie star who has always been a part of the high society.
The first games of chance came to North America with the British settlers in various lottery forms. Today, casinos are complexes with hotels, spas, restaurants, etc.
In 2017, the gambling market in the United States was worth $158,54 billion. In 2019, the whole world market is estimated to rake in $495 billion. This amount of money is almost unimaginable. Today, there are only two states which don’t have any form of gambling on their territory — Hawaii and Utah. In the rest of them, there are 1951 licensed casinos. Just look at Las Vegas, Nevada. An entire city built on gambling. When you walk out on the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll be greeted by casinos, one after another, each more luxurious than the previous one.
Atlantic City, New Jersey is another place famous for gambling. Known as Las Vegas of the East Coast, the AC Boardwalk is also a place where you can go to and play in some of the world’s largest casinos.
Let’s go through eight of the best casinos in the United States.
Opened in 1999 in Biloxi, Mississippi, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino has an 85,000 square foot casino floor. They’ve covered it with around 1,600 slots and 110 table games. The Rivage poker room has 16 tables. Within the complex, there are also eight dining options, as well as a hotel, a spa, and a golf course.
When you’re done with gambling and wanna enjoy some shows, there’s the Beau Rivage Theatre, which organizes comedy performances and smaller concerts.
Pechanga Resort Casino
In 2002, the residents of Temecula, California saw an impressive gambling complex opening in their city. Since then, Temeculans and other tourists could enjoy over 4000 slot machines and 154 table games located on 188,000 square feet of gaming space. The 54-table poker room offers many variants of poker and pot limits which cater to both high-rollers, as well as those who don’t want to risk as much.
Their luxurious hotel is an attraction by itself. Besides amazing suites for those who can afford it (corner suites give you a 650-sq room with an incredible view through window walls), you can also enjoy a fitness and spa center. They also have four pools and over 70 cabanas.
Hard Rock Hotel Casino
You’ll find this one if you go to America’s Playground. Located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the newly-founded casino (they opened their doors in June 2018) has 120 table games and a selection of 2100 gaming machines. In their concert venue, the Etess Arena, people can have the pleasure of listening to some of the world’s most popular performers, including Elton John, Aerosmith, and Beyonce. Apart from that, there are also a dozen bars and restaurants for you to enjoy.
The Bellagio Hotel & Casino
Having opened up in 1998, Bellagio represents one of the finest casinos located in Sin City. The 155,000 square feet of the gaming floor are covered with 2300 slots and 136 table games. Their poker room has 40 tables. Moreover, the Bellagio Las Vegas Hotel has over 3900 rooms for you to stay in. The hotel has five outdoor swimming pools, a spa resort, and a hair salon. Alongside many gift shops, it also features a restaurant and a bar.
In this complex, you can find a dozen restaurants and bars, as well as a theater. Some other attractions include a golf course, botanical gardens, and a Gallery of Fine Art.
Foxwoods Resort Casino
It may come as a surprise to some (many, in fact), but the largest resort casino in North America (at least how that’s how they advertise themselves) is neither in Las Vegas nor Atlantic City. Located in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Foxwoods Casino is one of around 500 gambling houses owned by Native American tribes.
The casino floor, which was established in 1992, covers immense 345,000 square feet. In Foxwoods, you’ll find a whopping 4800 gaming machines and around 380 table games. Additionally, they also have keno lounges and a racebook. The Foxwoods poker room contains 147 tables.
Within the resort, you can stay in one of their five hotels, where prices vary from $139 per night to $400 per night. There are six fine-dining restaurants, and you can choose from Red Lobster to the famous chef David Burke’s restaurant. There are also around 30 snack bars and fast food chains for you to grab a quick bite.
Furthermore, there are a dozen nightclubs when the time comes to partying, and they always organize comedy and musical shows with popular performers. If all of this isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, Foxwoods also offers a golf course, zip lines, as well as bowling and arcade arenas. Basically, you can spend months in Foxwoods and never get bored.
Another enormous Connecticut casino; this one actually beats Foxwoods in gaming floor size. Based in Uncasville, Mohegan Sun opened up in 1996. They have a 364,000 sq/ft floor which contains over 5500 gaming machines and 377 table games. The poker room consists of 42 tables.
Aside from gaming, you can stay in the Mohegan Sun Hotel, where rates go from $109 to $119. There are six restaurants, as well as a cabaret theatre, a spa, and a golf club.
The Borgata Casino opened up in 2003 in Atlantic City. They have 3000 slots and 186 table games. The poker room offers 85 tables. A stay in their four-and-a-half-star hotel will cost you around $400.
Alongside the casino, Borgata also offers three spas and fitness centers. Additionally, they provide plenty of amusement, as you can visit many different amenities, including a beer garden, a gypsy bar, and the Music Box concert venue. They also have eight restaurants and a nightclub.
Caesars Palace Casino and Hotel
Finishing our list with a Las Vegas casino would be proper. One of the most famous casinos around, Caesars Palace opened its doors in 1966. There are over 1300 slots and about 170 table games. The poker room contains 16 tables. Apart from that, they have a dozen restaurants.
Finally, other amenities include a golf course, pool lounges, and a spa. Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis is a wonderful six-pool complex with cabanas and sunbathing spots.
In 2006, the US government passed a law which prohibits online gambling. As a result of this law, a large number of online casinos and software providers have left the US market. Consequently, residents of the United States, who still wish to gamble online, have only a limited amount of options at their disposal. There is still a fairly large number of online casinos that accept US players, but the majority of the best ones are out of reach.
Now, you need to be careful with how you choose online casinos to play in, as the ones which conduct business with US residents belong in the grey area. So, you need to be vigilant and do research. Before picking a website, read several reviews of it, which will give you an idea on whether they are trustworthy or not. Many unsuspecting players have faced frustration in the form of late and, at times, outright denied payments.
To properly determine whether the website you are considering is reputable, alongside reading reviews, you need to check it out by yourself. Read through the terms and conditions they impose on their customers. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to spot predatory clauses which give them the right to deny your winnings for any reason. Any vagueness in terminology is usually there so that it leaves room for different interpretation on their side.
Pack Your Bags
As we’ve already said, there are 1951 licensed casinos in the United States for you to choose from. Virtually anywhere you find yourself in the country, you’ll be near one to pop in for a quick spin or a quick poker round.
We’ve given you a list of eight best casinos that are a must-visit. Of course, opinions differ, and we cannot cover all of the gambling houses which are worth a mention in one list. If you’re into gaming tourism, you’ll have plenty of places to visit. You’ll probably overspend (we all do), but don’t worry. What happens in Vegas…