By Steve Beauregard
California’s capitol city is a mecca of sorts for gambling, as there are four Indian casinos within easy driving distance of Sacramento.
There are 38 casinos total, in all of Northern California, meaning the Sacramento area is home to 11% of NorCal’s casinos.
You should note that in addition to the four casinos, there are ten card rooms within a 20 mile radius of downtown.
However here we’re just talking about Indian casinos, which – unlike card rooms – have slot machines, video poker machines, craps tables (albeit without dice), and the like.
Thunder Valley Casino is 28 miles from downtown Sacramento
As you can see from the map below, these four casinos are spread out to the north and east outskirts of Sacramento.
Here’s a little more information on each of the four casinos, in order of their exact driving distances as measured when starting from the Sacramento city hall downtown:
Thunder Valley Casino Resort (Orange pin) – 28 miles
One of the largest of the 62 casinos in California, Thunder Valley is the closest casino to Sacramento.
It’s also the biggest. The Auburn Journal reports the Lincoln casino sees 16,000 customers per day. The casino has 2,900 slot machines/video poker machines, and 110 table games.
(Each colored star represents one of the 4 Sacramento-area casinos)
There is also a 500 seat bingo room, and a beautiful 34 table poker room that plays host to World Series of Poker satellite events, as well as nationally televised tournaments, such as the Heartland Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour.
In addition to an ultra lounge, standard casino bars and a pool bar, there are three sit-down restaurants, a buffet, and a food court that has a Subway, Pizza Hut Express, Fatburger and Panda Express.
On the entertainment side, Thunder Valley has three venues: a lounge band type of stage, a 2,000 seat indoor venue, and a 5,000 seat outdoor amphitheater. Thunder Valley’s 17 story hotel tower will have 408 rooms, once the expansion is complete.
1200 Athens Avenue
Lincoln, CA. 95648
Red Hawk Casino (Red pin) – 37 miles
Located north and east of Sacramento on Highway 50 in Placerville, the Red Hawk has 88,000 square feet of casino floor space. It’s full of 2,500 slot machines, 75 table games, which includes tables in their poker room.
While it does not have a hotel, the Red Hawk has 4 sit down restaurants, including the requisite buffet.
They even have a kid’s play area, in which they offer baby sitting for kids from 6 weeks of age to 12.
1 Red Hawk Parkway
Placerville, CA. 95667
Cache Creek Casino & Resort (Green pin) – 46 miles
Cache Creek Casino
The only casino east of town, Cache Creek Casino is a growing resort 46 miles away in Brooks, California.
The resort sets on a beautiful acreage, across from vineyards. There’s even some grapes growing on open space in front of the resort.
Popular with residents of San Francisco and Sacramento alike, Cache Creek is currently undergoing a $200 million dollar expansion, which will bring the hotel’s room count to 459 rooms in 2019.
(Related: Distance and Drive from Sacramento to Las Vegas)
As for the casino, it won’t be expanded. However it’s plenty big as it stands, with 94,000 square feet of casino floor space, 2,400 slots and video poker machines, and 122 table games, (this includes the resort’s 14 table poker room).
Cache Creek has four sit-down restaurants, a buffet, and four counter-style to-go restaurants.
Cache Creek’s golf course, Yocha Dehe Golf Club, sits just a few hundred feet to the east of the casino, but is not your typical casino golf course. Golfing publications give it very high marks. In fact, in 2015, GolfAdvisor.com ranked it the number one public course in the country.
14455 Highway 16
Brooks, CA. 95606
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort (Yellow pin) – 51 miles
The most distant of the Sacramento-area casinos, the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort sits around 51 miles southeast of downtown in, well, Jackson, California.
Sixteen hundred slots and video poker machines dot the resort, along with numerous table games (blackjack, mini-baccarat and all the usual favorites), and a poker room.
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is just over 50 miles from Sacramento
There are four restaurants, an 1,800 seat outdoor event area that plays host to concerts and MMA fights, and an indoor ballroom with concert seating for 800.
Jackson Rancheria has an 86 room hotel and a popular 100 spot RV park nearby with free, 24 hour a day shuttle service to and from the casino.
12222 New York Ranch Road
Jackson, CA. 95642
Photos courtesy of each respective casino, except for Cache Creek, which comes from the city of Vallejo