The United States is home to nearly 1,500 casinos—more than any other country in the world. When it comes to gambling in the U.S., Nevada is probably the first place that comes to mind. With roughly 370 casinos, it’s the top destination for gamblers. The second most popular state for gambling is California, with more than 170 casinos. And it’s also home to the top-rated casino in the country.1
Top 10 Casinos in America
According to a recent reader’s poll of the best U.S. casinos, Nevada is good, but California is better. Pechanga Resort & Casino took first place in the poll after four weeks of voting.2
It edged out other well-known casinos/resorts from coast to coast. The state of Connecticut is a popular gambling destination with the second and third place casinos; Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The top 10 winners in the Best U.S. Casino poll are:
1.Pechanga Resort & Casino – Temecula, California
2.Mohegan Sun – Uncasville, Connecticut
3.Foxwoods Resort Casino – Mashantucket, Connecticut
4.L’Auberge Casino Resort – Lake Charles, Louisiana
5.Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi – Biloxi, Mississippi
6.Harrah’s Resort Southern California – Valley Center, California
7.Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Atlantic City, New Jersey
8.Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa – Las Vegas, Nevada
9.French Lick Resort – French Lick, Indiana
10.Thunder Valley Casino Resort – Lincoln, California
A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Other casinos in the running for the best U.S. casino included: Aria Resort & Casino, Bellagio, Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Mirage Hotel & Casino, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and Wynn Las Vegas.
What makes Pechenga Resort & Casino top in the country? Many casinos focus on entertainment and dining rather than gaming. This has allowed many smaller casinos to focus on what they do best: provide an excellent, friendly gaming experience with reasonable prices and reasonable odds.
If you want to see Celine Dion, go to Vegas. If you want to focus on gambling, maybe you should check out Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Pechanga Resort & Casino
Owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, the Pechanga Resort & Casino is an upscale resort/casino located in Southern California, just 90 minutes south of Los Angeles and 60 minutes north of San Diego—minutes from Interstate 15 in Temecula.3
The Pechanga Band opened its original casino operations 20 years ago in July of 1995. Originally called the Pechanga Entertainment Center in modular structures; it had 200 gaming positions and 135 employees.
In June 2002, they opened the permanent Pechanga Resort & Casino with an 88,000-square foot casino floor, 517 hotel rooms, and a 1,200-seat theater. In 2005, the casino expanded its gaming space to include another 100,000 square feet; and later, an on-site championship golf course.
In 2014, the casino announced plans of a $285 million expansion. Still in the approval processes, the expansion will add a new wing with an additional 568 rooms and suites.
Pechanga Resort & Casino is the largest casino in the state of California, with 3,800 slot machines and approximately 188,000 square feet of gaming space. This makes it larger than most casinos in Las Vegas.
Slot players can choose from over 3,800 state-of-the-art slots, video reels, Keno, and video poker machines.4 If table games are more your style, Pechanga has over 140 table games (not including poker). In addition to having the most mystery card roulette and the most double-deck blackjack in California, visitors can also play three-card poker, Let it ride, pai gow poker, craps, ultimate Texas hold’em, buster blackjack, EZ baccarat (played on mini baccarat style tables), emperor’s challenge pai gow, and progressive fortune pai gow.5
Pechanga is home to Southern California’s finest poker room. Located on the second floor of the casino, visitors can play no limit hold’em, Omaha hi-low, and weekly tournament play.6
If you’re looking for more, visit the 14,000 square foot high limit area with over 200 slots and video poker machines (in denominations up to $100.00), EZ baccarat and emperor pai gow, and the region’s largest double deck blackjack gaming area. There is also a full-service bar, secluded cash cage for added privacy, and reserved gaming.7
After a successful day of gambling, you can relax in one of the 517 AAA Four Diamond hotel rooms.8 Or, visit any of the 11 restaurants, spa, or on-site golf course; attend a concert, nightclub, shop, or visit the surrounding Temecula area. The Pechanga Resort & Casino is just 32 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean. Also nearby are golfing, wine tasting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and hot air ballooning.
Casino Winnings Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
If you visit the U.S. and win at the casinos, it’s important to keep in mind that those from a foreign country that have not signed a U.S. tax treaty are subject to a 30% withholding tax.
Countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty include Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and UAE.
If you reside in any of these countries and win a substantial amount in gambling while visiting the U.S., your winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS If you’re from Malta, your gambling winnings are taxed at 10%.
RMS is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back
If you’ve been to the U.S. and had 30% of your winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest. Your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved. We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund. Contact us today!
1. “American Casinos and Gambling in United States,” Casinocity web site; http://us.casinocity.com/
2. “Best U.S Casino,” 10best.com web site; http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-u-s-casino/
3. Press release, “Southern California’s Pechanga Resort & Casino Named Top Resort/Casino in the United States,” June 26, 2015; http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/favorite-casino-in-america-survey-results-announced-today-southern-californias-pechanga-resort–casino-named-top-resortcasino-in-the-united-states-300105566.html
4. “Slots,” Pechanga web site; https://www.pechanga.com/sections/casino/pages/slots.aspx
5. “Table Games,” Pechanga web site; https://www.pechanga.com/sections/casino/pages/tablegames.aspx
6. “Poker Room,” Pechanga web site; https://www.pechanga.com/sections/casino/pages/pokerroom.aspx
7. “High Limit Gaming,” Pechanga web site; https://www.pechanga.com/sections/casino/pages/highlimitgaming.aspx
8. “Rooms,” Pechanga web site, https://www.pechanga.com/sections/resort/pages/rooms