By Steve Beauregard
Of the 62 casinos in California, 38 of them are located in Northern California.
We’re talking about casinos with slot machines. Most of these 38 Indian casinos have table games like blackjack and poker as well.
In addition to this list of 38 casinos, there are numerous card rooms in “Nor Cal.” However card rooms mostly just cater to poker players, and they aren’t allowed to have slots or video poker machines.
The Thunder Valley Casino is one of 38 casinos in Northern California
Although there is no official government designation, Northern California is generally understood as consisting of the state’s 48 northernmost counties.
Start at San Luis Obispo on the coast, and draw a line east to Bakersfield and then on further east to the Nevada border. For the purposes of this article, everything above that is considered Northern California.
There are casinos spread throughout Northern California, from casinos just south of Fresno, all the way north to the California/Oregon state line.
They range from luxurious resorts with golf courses, beautiful hotels, fine restaurants, and thousands of slot machines, to tiny road-side joints with just a few slots situated in small pre-fabricated buildings.
(Here’s a map showing you all 38 casinos in Northern California)
Because Indian casinos have to be on, well, Indian land, there aren’t all ideally located in terms of population.
For example, tiny Bishop, California, with less than 4,000 people, has a casino, while San Francisco does not. And Fresno has three casinos nearby, whereas San Jose, (twice its population), has none.
The Graton Resort & Casino
Nevertheless, you will find a casino within a short driving distance from almost all areas of Northern California.
The Sacramento area is one metropolitan with a bounty of nearby gambling dens. The four casinos near Sacramento include some of the largest in the state. And all are within 50 miles of the city’s core.
Biggest Casinos in Northern California
The largest casino in Northern California is the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln. This resort, located 30 miles east of Sacramento, has received the AAA Four Diamond Award for six years in a row.
The resort’s 17 story hotel tower has just under 300 rooms, with another 111 rooms under construction. There is a beautiful pool area, 12,000 square foot spa, 4 restaurants and a food court, a 2,000 seat concert venue, along with a 5,000 seat amphitheater.
The casino itself, is one of the largest in all of California, with 144,500 square feet of casino floor space. In addition to 2,700 slot machines and 103 table games, Thunder Valley has a poker room and 500 seat bingo hall.
Other major casinos in the northern part of the Golden State include:
Graton Resort and Casino – With 3,000 slot machines, it is the 3rd biggest casino in California (based on number of gaming machines). The $800 million dollar resort also has a 144 table games, a spa, and a 200 room hotel (which it is trying to double in rooms).
Cache Creek Casino – Forty-six miles northeast of Sacramento, it has 2,400 slot machines, 122 table games (including the 14 table poker room), a 200 room hotel (before the proposed expansion to 439 rooms), 9 restaurants, and an 18 hole golf course.
Table Mountain Casino – Just 15 minutes from Fresno, Table Mountain has 2,000 slot machines, 40 table games, a poker room, and a 700 seat bingo parlor.
Tachi Palace Casino – In between Fresno and Bakersfield, this huge casino rises up from seemingly nowhere. At 140,000 square feet of casino gaming space, it’s one of the state’s largest casinos, even though a lot of that square footage is part of the bingo hall. The casino also boasts 2,000 slot machines and 31 table games.
Cache Creek Casino
Full List of Northern California Casinos
Here’s a list of the 38 Indian casinos in Northern California, followed by their respective locations:
Bear River Casino Hotel – Loleta, CA.
Black Oak Casino – Tuolumne, CA.
Blue Lake Casino & Hotel – Blue Lake, CA.
Cache Creek Casino Resort – Brooks, CA.
Cher-Ae Heights Casino – Trinidad
Chicken Ranch Casino – Jamestown
Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino – Coarsegold
Colusa Casino Resort – Colusa
Coyote Valley (Shodakai Casino) – Redwood Valley
Desert Rose Casino – Alturas
Diamond Mountain Casino & Hotel – Susanville
Eagle Mountain Casino – Porterville
Elk Valley Casino – Riverside
Feather Falls Casino & Lodge – Oroville
Garcia River Casino – Point Arena
Gold Country Casino & Hotel – Oroville
Graton Resort & Casino – Rohnert Park
Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel – Jackson
Konocti Vista Casino – Lakeport
Lucky 7 Casino – Smith River
Lucky Bear Casino – Hoopa
Mono Wind Casino – Auberry
Paiute Palace Casino – Bishop
Pit River Casino – Burney
Red Fox Casino – Laytonville
Red Hawk Casino – Placerville
Redwood Hotel and Casino – Klamath
River Rock Casino – Geyserville
Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino – Nice
Rolling Hills Casino – Corning
Running Creek Casino – Upper Lake
Sherwood Valley Rancheria Casino – Willits
Sho-Ka-Wah Casino – Hopland
Table Mountain Casino – Riverside
Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino – Lemoore
Thunder Valley Casino Resort – Lincoln
Twin Pine Casino & Hotel – Middletown
Win-River Casino – Redding
(Photos courtesy of the respective resort’s press rooms)