By Steve Beauregard
Although the state of California is brimming with casinos, (62 of them to be exact), the Bay area lacks its fair share of gaming parlors, especially given its population.
Nevertheless, there are four casinos within 100 miles of downtown San Francisco. All are north of the Bay area.
In addition to these four, there are numerous card rooms, or poker rooms in the area, however we’re just focusing here on casinos with slot machines, craps, blackjack and the like.
The Graton Resort & Casino is 50 miles north of San Francisco
All that said, the closest casino to San Francisco is the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park. The Graton is located 50 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 101.
Like all the other 62 casinos in California, Graton is an Indian Casino. The Sonoma County resort is also beautifully designed and very modern-looking. The $800 million dollar property opened in November of 2013.
It happens to be one of the larger casinos in the United States, at least in terms of games offered. Three thousand gaming machines are spread out throughout the 100,000 square foot casino. There are also 144 table games, and a poker room with twenty tables.
Overall, the resort has a little over a half a million square feet of space, not including its 5,511 parking spaces.
(Here’s a map of the four casinos closest to San Francisco. The orange star is the Graton Resort & Casino)
For the first three years of its existence, the Graton was without a hotel. That changed in November 2016, when the resort unveiled a $175 million expansion that included a 200 room, six-story hotel, two more bars, a 10,000 square foot spa, and added meeting space.
All total, Graton has four sit-down restaurants, 9 quick-service restaurants, a spa, several bars, and a 10,000 square foot entertainment venue.
The casino is managed by Stations resort. You may be familiar with them, from their numerous Las Vegas properties, (i.e. Palace Station, Sunset Station, etc.)
Address and Phone
288 Golf Course Drive West
Rohnert Park, CA. 94928
Other Casinos Near San Francisco with Slot Machines
(Distances as measured when starting at City Hall downtown)
River Rock Casino (Black Star) – 81 miles
Twin Pine Casino (Green Star) – 89 miles
Cache Creek Casino (Purple Star) – 90 miles
Other Casinos over 100 miles from San Francisco
Hopland Sho-Ka-Wa Casino – 103 miles
Thunder Valley Casino Resort – 113 miles
Konocti Vista Casino – 118 miles
Red Hawk Casino – 122 miles
Jackson Rancheria – 125 miles
Garcia River Casino – 131 miles
Distance to Graton Resort Casino from Bay Area Cities
Even though there are 37 casinos in Northern California, the Graton is still the closest to all cities in the Bay Area.
Here are mileage figures to the Graton:
Berkley – 50 miles
Concord – 58 miles
Fremont – 80 miles
Hayward – 68 miles
Oakland – 54 miles
Richmond – 44 miles
San Jose – 94 miles
Santa Clara – 96 miles
Santa Rosa – 6 miles
Sunnyvale – 90 miles
Inside the Graton Resort & Casino
One additional side note.
The San Pablo Lytton Casino is located just 18.2 miles away, off I-80 north of Berkley.
However we’re not counting it as “real” casino due to the fact it only has what’s known has Class II gaming machines.
Unlike all of the other Indian casinos that are part of a compact with the State of California, San Pablo Lytton Casino doesn’t offer the more traditional Class III gaming machines.
(Related: Distance and driving time from San Francisco to Las Vegas)
Without getting bogged down in the details, San Pablo’s Class II machines are bingo-determined machines generally considered less desirable than Nevada style class III gaming machines found in most of the tribal casinos in California. For example, if playing a Class II video poker machine, strategy doesn’t matter, as the outcome is already determined.
And while there are some table games, the house takes $1 commission, even at a $5 blackjack table.
The San Pablo Lytton doesn’t offer games like craps or roulette.
(Photos courtesy of the Graton Resort & Casino)