GAMBLING ACROSS THE USA....
or just visit a casino or two
If you are gambling your way across the USA the vacation might have to end early or you might upgrade to the penthouse luxury suite. Regardless of your luck, some gambling experiences are worthy of your travel bucket list because of their unique venue. Or try your hand at gambling in all 50 states. If you do, let us know so we can add you as a Travel Goal Getter record holder.
It is much easier to find a gambling opportunity in every state now then it was twenty years or even five years ago. Some variation of gambling is legal in almost every state. In Utah and Alaska, there are no casinos, however, there are some options to play bingo and possibly a game of poker, which some argue is a game of skill not chance, thus not making it truly gambling. In Hawaii, no casinos either. Social gambling is allowed but the line is fine and criteria must be met in order for it to be legal. You won't find a casino in Tennessee but it has a state lottery. Several brand-new casinos will be opening in Massachussetts this year and in 2016 due to a recent change in legislation. Each state has its interesting evolving story of gambling within its borders.
Various resources on the web such as AmericanCasinoGuide.com list casinos or gambling options for each state and even describes state legislation. The industry changes frequently so some places listed on these sites may have closed. Travel Goal Getter has identified some stand-out options for some states. If you have a favorite - something that makes it special from the rest beyond just better odds, e-mail us and we will add it to this listing.
CONNECTICUT - Foxwoods in Mashantucket/Ledyard is reportedly the largest casino in North America.
KENTUCKY - Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, allows you to place your wagers on the horse races. Cash only at the window, but ATMs available.
NEVADA - It begins when you land at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas with slot machines in the airport. A quick trip to the strip and options abound - too numerous to mention. There are still penny value slot machines but it is all cashless now, except at the Fremont Casino downtown which confirmed that they still have a few quarter poker machines that you can put actual coins into and hopefully hear the authentic clinkety-clink come out when you win.
NEW JERSEY - Once upon a time the only states that allowed commercial casinos were Nevada and New Jersey. Atlantic City was booming as the "World's Playground" and had the east coast gambling market to itself. However, the landscape is changing from what a New Yorker article called "a casino saturation problem." In pursuit of more revenue, nearby states have opened casino door after casino door. The reverse has happened in Atlantic City where several casinos have had to close their doors. The Boardwalk is still quintessential and mega casinos remain.
SOUTH DAKOTA - You can feel like a tough guy saddling up to a table at a casino in Deadwood just like Wild Bill Hickok did before he was shot during a poker game in a saloon in 1876. A visit to Saloon #10 gives you some Wild West history plus drinks and games.
RIVERBOAT GAMBLING - Dreamed of romantically throwing the dice on a Mark Twainesque riverboat cruising down the Mississippi? Unfortunately this will likely remain a dream. In April 2015 we were unable to locate a single Riverboat Casino that regularly cruises. All are dockside casinos or specialty cruises. The American Queen (above) cruises but no casino on board.
GAMBLING OFF THE COAST - We were able to locate several boats that sail off the east coast for some gambling. The Emerald Princess Casino has a 5 hour cruise each day (some evening, some daytime) for $10, adults only out of Brunswick, Georgia. The Big M cruises out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Tradewinds Casino is based out of Savannah, Georgia. Reviews are mixed on all cruises. Some thought the cruises were too long if they ran out of money early!
Foxwoods Casino picture via Creative Commons, Wikimedia
Kentucky Derby via Creative Commons, Bill Brine
Atlantic City Boardwalk via Creative Commons, Nik Bronder
Saloon #10 in Deadwood from www.saloon10.com
American Queen Eads Bridge via Wikimedia Commons by Thegreenj
Emerald Princess Cruise from www.emeraldprincesscasino.com
All other pictures property of Travel Goal Getter
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