When people think of gambling, the first place that comes to mind is Las Vegas. But what state is home to the second largest number of casinos? Oklahoma! Oklahoma is home to roughly 115 tribal casinos and two racetrack casinos.
Over the last few years, Oklahoma has seen growth in its gaming revenue, a sure sign that the state’s commercial gaming industry is on the rebound from the recent economic downturn. A recent report shows that Oklahoma Indian gaming revenue increased by more than $60.0 million in 2013, to roughly $3.8 billion.1
Over the years, tribal gaming in Oklahoma has evolved from small community bingo halls to massive Vegas-style venues. All Oklahoma Indian casinos are allowed to offer both Class II and Class III gaming machines.
Class II gaming machines are based on games of chance, such as bingo (electronic bingo included) and non-banking card games, where players compete against other players and not against the house. Class III games feature those commonly played at casinos, including slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette, mini-baccarat, pai gow poker, “Let It Ride,” and off-track betting.
There are also two horse racing facilities in Oklahoma: The Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs Racino and Remington Park: Racing & Casino.
So if you’re planning to head to Oklahoma for some gambling or horse race betting, here’s a list of five of the best places to gamble in the state:
5. WinStar World Casino and Resort
The WinStar World Casino and Resort is located in the small town of Thackerville. Straddling the Texas border, WinStar is 90 minutes north of Dallas and two hours south of Oklahoma City.
The WinStar has two world-class accommodations. The 12-story WinStar World Casino Hotel features 395 rooms, including deluxe suites and guest rooms. The Pool Tower features 1,000 rooms and is divided into two phases: Pool Tower North and Pool Tower South.
At a whopping 519,000 square feet, the WinStar casino boasts the largest casino floor in the United States! The casino has over 7,400 electronic games, 46 poker tables, 76 table games, an off-track betting area, the High Limit Room, keno, and bingo.
Nearby is the WinStar Golf Club, featuring a 225-acre, 27-hole golf course designed by former PGA Tour Pro, D.A. Weibring. Additionally, the WinStar Golf Academy offers private golf lessons and clinics by world-class instructors.2
4. River Spirit Casino
Adjacent to the Arkansas River in Tulsa, the River Spirit Casino has one of the largest gaming floors in Oklahoma. At 300,000 square feet, the casino has more than 2,600 gaming machines, 15 poker tables, and 15 table games featuring blackjack, “Ultimate Texas Hold’em,” “Fortune Pai Gow,” “Fortune Baccarat,” and more.
A $365-million expansion is underway for River Spirit Casino, to be complete by 2016. The new facilities will include a 27-story, 480-room luxury hotel tower, convention and meeting center, fitness center and resort pool, and 3,000-seat theater.3
3. Choctaw Casino Resort
The Choctaw Casino Resort is a casino and hotel complex located in Durant, Oklahoma. The Choctaw Grand Tower is a 12-story luxury hotel with 330 rooms and suites. In addition to the main Choctaw Tower, the Choctaw Lodge has 59 rooms, while the Choctaw Inn is linked to the Casino and has over 100 rooms. The resort also has more than 10 restaurants and four bars.
The Choctaw Casino Resort has over 218,000 square feet of gaming floor and over 4,500 slot machines. Table games include three card poker, “Let It Ride,” “Ultimate Texas Hold ’em,” pai gow, mini-baccarat, roulette, and craps. The private poker lounge, for professionals and novices alike, features 30 tables located on its own exclusive floor.
The Choctaw Event Center has a 5,500-seat capacity and also serves as a multipurpose facility that can accommodate conventions, trade shows, banquets, receptions, and corporate events.4
2. Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs
Located in Claremore, Oklahoma, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is considered by many to offer the state’s best “racino” entertainment. Just 20 minutes from downtown Tulsa, Cherokee Casino offers live quarter horse races between September and November and thoroughbred racing from March through May. In addition, Cherokee Casino offers simulcast racing from around the country.
The one-mile racetrack has 2,700 grandstand seats, turf club seating for up to 400 people, and 700 horse stalls. The casino has 250 electronic games and a 42,000-square-foot meeting/banquet space.
In addition to restaurants, a saloon, and live music, Cherokee Casino also has room for 400 RV hook-ups and an RV clubhouse.5
1. Remington Park
Remington Park is a horse racing track and casino (“racino”) located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Remington Park is open 365 days a year for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing from around the world, but Remington’s own horse racing season begins in March with quarter horse races. The thoroughbred season begins in August and runs until mid-December.
The main one-mile track has a sandy surface, while the turf course measures 7/8 mile. The Remington Park grandstand can accommodate 10,000 people and the stable area houses up to 1,400 horses.
Remington Park also features a world-class casino floor with 750 gaming machines, including reel slots and video poker. The casino floor also features a full-service restaurant and bar, cocktail service, concessions, and a stage for live performances.6
RMS is the Easiest, Quickest Way to Get Your Money Back!
If you’ve travelled to Oklahoma and won money playing poker, the slots, or horse racing, and had 30% of your winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services can help.
Refund Management Services (RMS) is Canada’s most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Then our Customer Service Agents take care of the rest. Your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, the U.S. gaming tax refund specialists at RMS have CA designation and have a longstanding relationship with the IRS for efficient processing. Over the years, RMS has helped thousands of people around the world recover taxes on their U.S. gaming wins. And we’ve never been refused an eligible refund.
- Associated Press, “Oklahoma Indian gaming revenues rise while state fees fall,” EnidNews.com, March 31, 2015; http://www.enidnews.com/news/oklahoma-indian-gaming-revenues-rise-while-state-fees-fall/article_221662a2-d7eb-11e4-bf12-e7c41a17d7b7.html.
- Winstar World Casino and Resort web site; http://www.winstarworldcasino.com/, last accessed April 7, 2015.
- River Spirit Casino web site; http://www.riverspirittulsa.com/, last accessed April 7, 2015.
- Choctaw Casinos web site; http://www.choctawcasinos.com/, last accessed April 7, 2015.
- Cherokee Casino web site; Will Rogers Downs web page; http://www.cherokeecasino.com/will-rogers-downs/, last accessed April 7, 2015.
- Remington Park Racing Casino web site; http://www.remingtonpark.com/home.aspx, last accessed April 7, 2015.