Every winter, thousands of Canadians escape the winter by travelling to warmer climates in the Southern United States. Florida is a popular travel destination for those living in Eastern Canada, while Arizona and California are hot spots for those in Western Canada. Here, we look at three of the top casinos in California.
Every year, more than 1.8 million Canadians visit California, making it one of the top travel destination in the U.S. Each year, vacationing Canadians spend $1.5 billion in the Golden State.1
Like many U.S. states, there are no commercial casinos in California, but you can visit any of the 167 casinos on numerous Native America reservations. California Indian casinos range from small country casinos to sprawling, award-winning, Vegas-style casino resorts.
At California’s 167 casinos you can play on more than 69,900 slots and gaming machines and at more than 2,500 table games. The minimum bet at many casinos is $0.01 with a maximum bet of $5,000.2
Pechanga Resort Casino
Located in the heart of Southern California wine country, Pechanga Resort Casino is the largest casino in the state. The casino is located in Temecula, California, just off Interstate 15, which is 90 minutes south of Los Angeles, 40 minutes east of Oceanside, and one hour north of San Diego.3
Voted the #1 Best Casino in the United States, the gaming floor covers a massive 188,000 square feet. There is 12,700 square feet of non-smoking casino floor and a 14,700-square-foot High Limit Gaming Area, making it the largest casino floor in the Western USA.
If you love slots, then you’ll love choosing from over 3,800 state-of-the-art reels, video reels, keno, and video poker machines. Not counting poker, Pechanga Resort Casino has over 140 table games for players of every skill level, including blackjack, let it ride, pai gow, craps, mystery card roulette, ez baccarat, emperor’s challenge pai gow, and progressive fortune pai gow.
In the 24-hour Poker Room, you can play no limit hold’em, Omaha hi-low, and weekly tournaments. The 14,000-square-foot High Limit area is the perfect spot for those who enjoy high-stakes wagering. The area has over 200 slots and video poker machine in denominations up to $100, ez baccarat and emperor pai gow, and the region’s largest double deck blackjack gaming area.
At the resort, you can stay in one of more than 500 guestrooms and suites. Pechanga has received the AAA Four Diamond Award every year since 2002. Hotel guests receive complimentary valet parking, access to the fitness center, pool and sundeck, concierge service and 24-hour room service.
The resort also has a full service spa, championship golf course, and several entertainment venues. Pechanga also has four fine dining/upscale dining establishments, a buffet, and numerous casual dining, quick bites, bars, and lounges.
Cache Creek Casino Resort
Cache Creek Casino Resort is the second largest casino in California. Owned and operated by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Cache Creek Casino is located in Northern California in the town of Brooks on Highway 16. The casino is a short one hour drive west of Sacramento, the state’s capital, and 90 minutes north of San Francisco.
The casino floor covers 75,000 square feet and features over 2,400 slot machines, 122 table games, ranging from the traditional to unique (blackjack, mini-baccarat, casino war, pai gow tiles, dragon baccarat), High Limit area, and 14-table Poker Room.4
The 415,000-square-foot property also includes a 200-room luxury hotel and health spa; 9 restaurants, ranging from fine dining to quick service; an outdoor swimming pool; entertainment venue; and golf.
San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino
San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino is owned and operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Located in the heart of Southern California’s Inland Empire, the casino is 60 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles.5
The 122,000-square-foot casino floor has over 3,600 slot machines, over 100 table games where you can play Vegas-style blackjack and pai gow, and a 60 table live action poker room. On top of that, the casino has a 2,500-seat state-of-the-art bingo hall, and a High Limit room with high-dollar slots and up to $2,000 a hand table games.
There is also plenty of dining, dancing, drinking, and entertainment options at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino. As a pure bingo and casino destination, San Manuel does not have a hotel or spa. But because of its central location, it is close to hotels that fit any price range.
U.S. Casino Winnings Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
If you are a non-U.S. resident and you visit California (or any other state that has gambling) and you win a significant amount of money playing the slots or Bingo, your gaming winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax.
But, if you live in a country like Canada that has signed a U.S. tax treaty, you may be eligible for a refund.
Some of the countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty but still may qualify for a refund include: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. Based on a recent court case, winners from these countries may qualify for a refund if they meet certain criteria.
If you win a substantial amount gambling (typically over $1,200), your winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS. If you win $2,000 playing the slots, the casino will pay you $1,400. The IRS keeps the rest.
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. Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS.
We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund. Contact us today!
1. “California,” Government of Canada web site; http://can-am.gc.ca/business-affaires/fact_sheets-fiches_documentaires/can.aspx?lang=eng
2.“California,” World Casino directory website; http://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/california.
3.“Pechanga,” Pechanga Resort Casino website; https://www.pechanga.com/.
4.“Cache Creek,” Cache Creek Casino Resort website; https://www.cachecreek.com/.
5.“San Manuel,” San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino website; http://www.sanmanuel.com/.