The Best Tribal Casinos in California

The Best California Tribal Casinos

Gambling in California has been a hotly contested topic for decades. Proof of this ongoing legal and moral battle could be seen with the failure to legalize California sports betting as voters said No to Props 26 and 27 in late-2022.

Further complicating California’s gambling industry is that some casino games are allowed, while others are not. Additionally, where these games are played at has also been a challenge for operators and gamblers alike.

Tribal casinos have become a saving grace for most gamblers in California. Not only do they offer world class accommodations, but they also feature the best slots and table games allowed in The Golden State.

According to 500 Nations, there are 76 tribal casinos in California that generate around $9 billion annually. The 76 casinos are owned by 73 of the state’s 109 tribes. There isn’t another state in the country that generates as much revenue from tribal casinos as California1.

With that in mind, we are highlighting the best tribal casinos in California that you can gamble at. To make things easier, we’ve divided this list up into Northern and Southern California tribal casinos.

Best Northern California Tribal Casinos

With over 40 tribal casinos located in Northern CA, there are plenty of options for gamblers in the NorCal region. The following is our selections for the best Northern California tribal casinos:

Graton Resort & Casino

Graton Resort Casino

Are you looking for a Las Vegas resort experience, but don’t want to go to Nevada? Look no further than the Graton Resort & Casino.

On November 5, 2013, the luxurious casino opened in Sonoma County to great fanfare2. Conveniently located off U.S. Route 101 in Rohnert Park, Graton Resort & Casino is an easy drive from surrounding communities.

Graton Resort & Casino is much more than just a casino. There is an award-winning premium 200-room hotel and spa along with a beautiful pool area opened seasonally3.

Modern dining and bars dot the Sonoma County-based property. What we like best is that there are restaurants for all budgets, from a steakhouse to a food court4.

Graton Resort & Casino has a wide variety of casino games on its gaming floor. Along with a full-service casino, there are freebies and promotions that run daily.

LED Table Games and More

Graton Resort & Casino is prohibited from offering live craps and roulette tables. However, state-of-the-art LED roulette games are available on the gaming floor. This Northern California casino also has5.

BlackjackPai Gow Poker
BaccaratThree Card Poker
Ultimate Texas Hold’emFour Card Poker

Over 3000 Slot Machines

You can find over 3,000 slot machines on the gaming floor at Graton Resort & Casino6. From old classics to the newest video slot machines, there is no shortage of slot machines at various limits.

A Popular Poker Room

California is well-known among poker players as being a hotbed for Texas Hold’em games. The poker room at Graton Resort & Casino includes 20 tables, including limit, no-limit, and pot-limit games.

If you are interested in tournament poker, Graton Resort & Casino also has morning and nightly tournaments7.

Comparable Online Casino

If you like what Graton Resort & Casino has to offer then you will like DuckyLuck Casino. This online casino is a great option for gamblers looking to play their favorite casino games from home or on the go.

DuckyLuck boasts of over 400 slots games and a variety of popular table games. Additionally, it also features video poker and bingo.

But, that’s not all. DuckyLuck is an industry leader in rewarding its members with its DuckyBucks rewards program. The plethora of bonuses and rewards truly makes gamblers feel like a lucky duck.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Located a short drive from Sacramento, Thunder Valley Casino Resort is the next option on our list of best tribal casinos in California.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort is roughly 28 miles east of Sacramento in Lincoln, California. The resort is owned by the United Auburn Indian Community. Their doors opened in 2003 as the first Las Vegas-style casino in Northern California8.

The luxury resort features a 17-story hotel with 408 rooms. Additionally, there is a full amenity spa and pool included at the resort. The Thunder Valley Casino Resort is a AAA Four Diamond hotel9.

The gaming floor spans 250,000 square feet and includes some unique table games. There is also a bingo hall and poker room in the casino.

If you want to play at a casino with a variety of table games that are not typically found in other casinos, Thunder Valley Casino Resort is your destination.

A Wide Variety of Table Games

Along with casino favorites blackjack and baccarat, there are a number of games that you might need a minute or two to learn:

Blackjack SwitchChase The Flush
Criss Cross PokerDJ Wild Stud Poker
Face Up Pai Gow PokerFortune Pai Gow Progressive
Four Card PokerThree Card Poker
Free Bet BlackjackMystery Card Roulette
Spanish 21Thunder Valley Craps
Ultimate Texas Hold’EmZappit Blackjack

3,400 Slot Machines and Counting

Thunder Valley Casino Resort will take care of you if you’re a slot player. There are more than 3,400 slot machines at your disposal. The denominations range from a penny to $100.

World Class Poker Room

This Northern California casino offers a poker room with events running daily. Find a cash game for your level or enter a tournament for big bucks. World Series of Poker Circuit Events are also available at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort poker room10.

Comparable Online Casino

Thunder Valley is a fantastic casino option and it reminds us a lot of Ignition Casino which is one of the best online gambling sites for poker and other casino games.

Ignition Casino has poker tournaments for players of all levels and several poker bonuses to maximize your playing experience.

When not playing poker, you can also check out Ignition Casino’s assortment of table games and live dealer casino games which make you feel like you’re in a retail casino. Their variety of slots games will satisfy even the most diehard of slots players.

Twin Pine Casino

Twin Pine Casino Hotel

We wanted to include a casino near Napa Valley in Northern California for all of the wine lovers out there.

Located north of California’s Wine Country in Middletown, California, the casino has been owned by the Pomo Indians of California since 199411.

There are approximately 59 hotel rooms in the resort. If you are planning on visiting Napa Valley during the busy season, we advise making your reservations well ahead of time.

The hotel is more of a boutique experience than the other best tribal casinos in California. Some people might see the smaller footprint of Twin Pine Casino as a positive.

If you don’t want to feel overwhelmed in a huge casino, Twin Pine casino is going to be an enticing option. The games are well spaced out without it feeling like fellow gamblers are on top of you.

Another plus at Twin Pine Casino is its affordable dining options. Additionally, if you are a gambler, getting food and beverage comps do not require a huge bankroll.

Small, But Thrilling Selection of Table Games

The table games are kept simple at Twin Pine Casino. This is not Thunder Valley Casino with a plethora of wild table games. A double-deck blackjack table with $10.00 limits is enough for us, though12. In fact, Twin Pine has a nice variety of blackjack games.

Double Deck BlackjackWar Blackjack
6 Deck Shoe BlackjackLucky Lucky Blackjack
Blazing Pairs BlackjackThree Card Super Shot Poker

New and Popular Slot Machines

Across 25,000 square feet of gaming space, Twin Pine Casino has everything that a slot lover could ever need under one roof. Twin Pine Casino features the newest and the most popular classic slots on the casino floor.

There are over 500 slot machines to choose from at Twin Pine Casino. Denominations range from penny, nickel, quarter, dollar, and $5 dollar slot machines.

You can find Willy Wonka World of Wonka, Game of Thrones, Gold Class, Tower Stack Panda, Lock It Link Night Life, Mustang Money, Megabucks, and many more slots at Twin Pine Casino.

Comparable Online Casino

The quaintness and charm of Twin Pine Casino is similar to the charm of Slots.LV. This online casino might not be as big as others, but Slots.LV excels at what it offers just like Twin Pine.

As you can guess by the name, Slots.LV is one of the premiere online gambling sites for slots gaming. They have a wide range of styles and themes to choose from including Hot Drop Jackpots which is a game changer when it comes to progressive jackpots.

In addition to slot games, Slots.LV also offers table games, video poker and live dealer options along with some incredible welcome bonuses.

Best Southern California Tribal Casinos

There are roughly 31 tribal casinos in SoCal. Although less casinos than Northern California, some of the most popular and extravagant tribal casinos can be found in Southern California. The following is a list of which ones we think are the best:

Pechanga Resort Casino

Pechanga Resort Casino

The Pechanga Resort Casino is one of the most highly regarded casinos in all of California.

Owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Indians, Pechanga Resort Casino is located in the scenic Temecula Valley minutes off Interstate 15.

Since opening in 2002, the hotel has earned the AAA Four Diamond award every year. There are 1,100 rooms and suites, including a 25,000-square-foot spa and golf course at Pechanga Resort Casino13.

If you are a gambler that likes to take time to relax by the pool, this is the resort for you. Pechanga Resort Casino comes equipped with a 4.5-acre pool area. The pool includes waterslides, three whirlpools, 26 cabanas, and a swim-up bar14.

The stylish casino includes a number of popular games. Since craps tables are barred in California, there are some casinos that offer card craps. Pechanga Resort Casino is one of them. We will stick to the single and double-deck blackjack tables.

Variety of Blackjack and Poker Table Games

BlackjackFortune Asia Poker
BaccaratThree Card Poker
RouletteSpanish 21
Craps (Cards)Crazy 4 Poker
Ultimate Texas Hold’EmBuster Blackjack
Pai GowFace Up Pai Gow Poker
Let It RideSaigon 5 Card

200,000 Square Foot Gaming Floor

The 200,000 square foot gaming floor at Pechanga Resort Casino features the latest and most modern slot machines available in California. There are also video poker and keno machines spread out throughout the expansive casino15.

Comparable Online Casino

If you are awestruck with the Pechanga Resort Casino then you will also be in awe of Wild Casino. This online casino offers a large variety of gaming options from over 400 slots games to table games and live dealer action for popular attractions like blackjack and baccarat.

Wild Casino offers lucrative sign-up bonuses and attempts to cater to every type of gambler just like the Pechanga Resort Casino.

Harrah’s Resort Southern California

Harrahs Resort Southern California

The Harrah’s Resort Southern California is a Caesars Entertainment property. However, Caesars Entertainment is only responsible for operating the property. The resort is owned by the Rincon Band of Indians16.

However, if there’s one tribal casino that can pioneer the California online gambling frontier, it would be this one. As Caesars already has a strong online platform that could be easily implemented at Harrah’s Resort Southern California.

Comps and points can be earned through the Caesars Rewards program. If you are a regular visitor to Las Vegas, this might be a good reason to gamble at Harrah’s Resort Southern California.

A 50-minute drive from San Diego, Harrah’s Resort Southern California is located in Valley Center, California. The resort provides a more upscale experience than Harrah’s Las Vegas.

Harrah’s Resort Southern California aims to provide more of a luxurious experience while providing a variety of entertainment options for everyone. This is much more than just a casino.

The pool experience is one of the best in California. With a lazy river and waterfalls, the pool at Harrah’s Resort Southern California is a relaxing oasis away from the casino.

When it is time to go back to the casino, there are 51 table games and over 1,500 slot machines to choose from17.

Over 50 Tables of The Following Games

BlackjackFree Bet Blackjack
Let It Ride BonusMississippi Poker
Six Card PokerUltimate Texas Hold’Em
Three Card PokerFace Up Pai Gow
Mystery Card RouletteRoll to Win Craps
Rincon Craps

All The Latest Popular Slot Machines

There is a slot machine for just about everyone at Harrah’s Resort California. We love how this tribal casino continues to introduce the newest slot machines.

Some of the notable slots at Harrah’s include Money Link, The Vault, Buffalo Gold Revolution, Cash Machine, Treasure Ball, and many more.

Comparable Online Casino

When looking over the amenities of Harrah’s, we can’t help but think of the Las Atlantis Casino. Yes, there’s a water theme here just like at Harrah’s. But Las Atlantis has many more similarities than just that.

Las Atlantis offers players some incredible bonuses, a slick user interface, an easy to navigate site, excellent customer support, some of the top slots games, a variety of table games and an overall enjoyable gambling experience.

Viejas Casino & Resort

Viejas Casino Resort

Viejas Casino & Resort is located in a picturesque location in Alpine, California. Owned and operated by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, Viejas Casino & Resort is another casino within driving distance of San Diego.

If you want a casino experience with several activities to do, then Viejas Casino & Resort has to be high on your list.

Do you have somebody that doesn’t like gambling in your group? Maybe they prefer shopping, bowling, or ice/roller skating. Viejas Casino & Resort has everything right on its property.

The hotel includes 203 deluxe rooms and 193 VIP suites, which received the AAA Four Diamond award18. If you want more of a small, secluded, and boutique feel rather than a mega-resort, then Viejas Casino & Resort is a good choice.

The casino has a fine selection of games for table and slot players. There is also a bingo hall with games running frequently throughout the day. Additionally, you can find off-track horse wagering at Viejas Casino & Resort19.

Unique Selection of Table Games

EZ BaccaratBlackjack
CrapsFortune Pai Gow
Three Card PokerSix Card Poker
Mystery Card RouletteUltimate Texas Hold’Em

2,500 Exciting Slots Games

For slot players, we recommended checking out Viejas Casino & Resort. This is our favorite tribal casino in California for slot players. According to the resort, there are over 2,500 slot machines to play in their casino20.

Comparable Online Casino

Viejas Casino & Resort truly has something to offer everyone and that’s exactly what Bovada accomplishes as well. The Bovada online casino has all of the popular table games like craps, roulette and blackjack. It also features a fantastic poker room with unique bonuses and tournaments.

Not only does Bovada have an incredible online casino, but it also has one of the best online sportsbooks as well. Covering all major and fringe sports, along with entertainment and political events, the Bovada sportsbook is perfect for any Californian looking to bet on sports.


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  8. Thunder Valley Casino | LinkedIn. Retrieved From “

  9. Series Events | Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Retrieved From “

  10. About Us | Twin Pine Casino & Hotel. Retrieved From “

  11. Table Games | Twin Pine Casino & Hotel. Retrieved From “

  12. About Us | Pechanga Resort Casino. Retrieve From “

  13. The Cove | Pechanga Resort Casino. Retrieved From “

  14. Slot Machines – High Limit Slots – Video Poker | Pechanga Resort Casino. Retrieved From “

  15. Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort Unveils New Name: Harrah’s Resort Southern California. Retrieved From “

  16. Harrah’s | Casino | Harrah’s Resort Southern California. Retrieved From “

  17. Best Casino Hotel In San Diego | Viejas Resort & Casino. Retrieved From “

  18. Casino Gaming In San Diego | Viejas Casino & Resort. Retrieved From “

  19. San Diego’s Best Slots | Viejas Casino & Resort. Retrieved From “

About the Author
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Kyle Eve
Sports/Casino Writer
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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