Cardrooms/Casinos – There are no Indian Reservations within the city limits of Los Angeles so technically there are no casinos within Los Angeles. Rather these businesses are cardrooms, but each cardroom cleverly has decided to incorporate the word casino in their names (which is misleading to the casual gambler). These cardrooms do not have slot machines, rather their focus is on card games including but not limited to blackjack, poker and bingo. As of our last update, several cities within Los Angeles County allow casinos including Bell Gardens, City of Commerce, Compton, Gardena and Inglewood. If you are intimidated by card games – the cardroom landscape of Los Angeles might be a bit challenging and perhaps Vegas would be a better option (if slot machines are what you are after).
Often tour operators or cardrooms maintain their own fleet of buses which service select communities within Los Angeles and Orange County – providing free transportation to and from the cardroom. After visiting the following cardrooms, some several times – we have noticed that the patrons tend to be mostly Asian locals and tourists.
Crystal Casino & Hotel is located off of the 91 freeway in Compton about 10 minutes from LAX and or downtown Long Beach. Address: 123 East Artesia Blvd. This casino can be very crowded on weekends especially for bingo where you may see several hundred people parked out on long tables playing this game. No fees are charged for any of their card games – 35 card tables are on site.
A variety of card games are offered including 21 Blackjack, EZ Baccarat, Fortune PaiGow Poker, Free Bet BlackJack, Spanish 21 and Ultimate Texas Holdem. For more information, visit: www.thecrystalcasino.com
Commerce Casino is located on the east side of the 5 freeway near the Citadel Shopping Center. This prominent casino and hotel is easily seen from the freeway coming from either direction. Billed as having the largest card table room in the world (240 tables) – despite the size, often it can get very busy here on some weekends. We have been here several times – once was on an early Monday morning and there were already folks lined up around numerous tables.
In addition to the card tables, Commerce Casino offers poker, bingo and a number of ongoing tournaments including Poker and Hold em’. Also home to four restaurants. Unlike some of the other Los Angeles based casinos where you feel like you are walking into a jail because of all the security guards and stares from the security guards – entering the Commerce Casino feels ‘freer’. The father of one of our good friends owned some oil wells in the city of Commerce; our first visit to this casino came during a visit to these wells. Visit: www.commercecasino.com
Hollywood Park Casino is located in Inglewood at 3883 W Century Blvd a fairly short drive from LAX. We first visited this casino when it was a part of the old Hollywood Park Racetrack which has since been completely demolished to make way for a massive open air shopping center, hotels, a movie theatre and the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park (a huge piece of property). In 2016 the Hollywood Park Casino moved to a brand new building and location complete with a sizable 4-story above ground parking structure.
This is one of the larger casinos in Los Angeles – contrary to some of the other ones which feel less sophisticated and more dated, the interior of this casino is contemporary and hip. 120+ poker and other gaming tables on site. The entrance is grand often featuring some car or other high stakes giveaway. The prominent Century Bar and other dining options are available including the Raise Lounge and rolling carts offering table side dining service for those who just can’t be pulled away from the fun. Offers numerous tournaments and as of our latest visit, 9 different card games. Also several high roller rooms. Visit: www.playhpc.com
Hustler Casino is located at 1000 W Redondo Beach Blvd in Gardena and is owned by the iconic Larry Flynt (he also owns the less then a mile away Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino). Larry Flynt has led an intriguing but perhaps not always idyllic life. He is the publisher of Hustler magazine – his story is profiled in the film, Larry Flynt vs the People. In 1978 he was shot while returning to a trial he was involved in at a courthouse in Georgia. Larry sustained permanent spinal nerve damage which left him in a wheelchair. When he makes appearances at his casino, he is also in his manually operated gold plated wheelchair attracting quite a spread of security guards who follow him. This makes for quite the site. And while Larry made a name for himself in Ohio by running a variety of clubs and with businesses in other states, he no longer lives there preferring to spend his time in Los Angeles – he lives in the Hollywood Hills.
Hustler Casino has operated since 2000 and is supposedly Larry’s most profitable business. Prior to the Hustler, this site was home to the El Dorado Club – also home to the world’s largest seven-card stud game in the world with a buy-in of several hundred thousand dollars. A sizable casino with an impressive exterior that resembles some of the smaller casinos one would find in Las Vegas and an exterior visual feel that almost seems to be out of the 1960s. Plenty of parking on site including valet parking for high rollers. Like other casinos in Los Angeles, seems to attract a mostly Asian audience. Features some 50 dedicated poker tables and over 30 tables for various Table games. Drink and food carts constantly rolling among the tables. Also a mostly glass enclosed VIP room in the center of the casino – offering plenty of windows to be seen by those on the outside. Open 24/7. Visit: www.hustlercasino.com
Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino is located at 1045 Rosecrans Ave in Gardena. Originally opened as a card-room in 1940 called the Western Club, by 1947 it changed ownership and became known as the Normandie Casino. Today Gardena is one of only several cities within Los Angeles County to allow ‘casinos’ – and at one point was the first and only city within Los Angeles to allow gambling. In 2016 several of the owners were in hot water for anti-money laundering and were forced to sell the casino. Enter Larry Flynt owner of the Hustler Casino (less then a mile from here). Larry purchased this casino in 2016 and renamed it to Larry Flynts Lucky Lady.
Today this small casino/cardroom is open 24 hours a day and like the other casinos in Los Angeles caters primarily to an Asian audience. Offers plenty of betting ranging from blackjack, No Limit Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker to Pai Gow Poker. Not much in the way of dining options but there is a small snack bar and during football season, Sunday breakfasts are served, Taco Tuesdays and other snack items. Plenty of parking is on site – only one entrance and exit. Visit: www.luckyladyla.com
The Bicycle Hotel & Casino, is located at 888 Bicycle Casino Dr in Bell Gardens. A visit and review coming by 2020.
The Gardens Casino is located at 11871 E Carson St in Hawaiian Gardens within a very short drive of the 605 freeway. Keeping a Hawaii theme, a fake volcano stands out front on Carson Street – complete with painted orange flowing lava – and palm trees are planted liberally around the property. Hawaiian Gardens is the smallest city within Los Angeles County (only a square mile in size) and as a result, this casino provides a significant amount of revenue for the city (well over 60%).
Very popular with Asian visitors – there is even a small religious shrine out front which is usually decorated with fresh flowers. Like other casinos in Los Angeles, they are open 24/7. We have been here very early in the morning on a Monday and seen people who were obviously sleeping in their vehicles in the parking lot after a full night of card games. Some were stumbling back inside the casino for more gaming action.
Offers a number of popular card games including No Limit Hold ‘Em, Texas Hold’ Em, Seven Card Stud and Omaha. There is plenty of parking on site. The one restaurant on site, Triple 7 Sports Bar & Grill features a smorgasbord of cross culinary options. For more information visit: www.thegardenscasino.com