Without a doubt, Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the US, and it likely always will be. But it’s not the only place. In fact, there may even be casinos in your state, and you just don’t know it.
Forty-six states have some form of legalized gambling, so wherever you live in the US or just visit, there’s likely a gambling option nearby.
Are you ready to take a road trip? Let’s look at the best places to gamble outside of Las Vegas.
Reno – Nevada
Las Vegas isn’t the only gambling city in Nevada. In the top western corner, only a two-hour drive from Sacramento, is Reno. Nicknamed “The Biggest Little City in the World,” it’s just east of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.
Until the 1940s, Reno was the gambling capital of the US until its little brother, Las Vegas, took over the mantle. While some founding casinos have been torn down or turned into residential condos over the years, big names like Atlantis and Peppermill are still there.
Reno is an excellent option if you want to visit an old-style casino town or happen to live in Northern California (as it’s so close).
Atlantic City – New Jersey
Atlantic City is the must-go casino destination for those on the East Coast. The area was founded in the early 1800s as a health resort getaway, then took on a new life once New Jersey voters legalized gambling in 1976.
If you’ve ever played the US version of Monopoly, all those famous street names are from Atlantic City.
Meanwhile, the casinos are all located either on the Boardwalk or in the Marina district, and include big names in the gambling world like Harrah’s, Tropicana, and Hard Rock.
Sadly, the pandemic caused several casinos to shutter, and the gambling area has a rather run-down feeling to it because many players moved on to Philadelphia instead (see below).
Philadelphia – Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is one of the most recent states to legalize gambling and is now second only to Nevada in gambling revenue.
Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Philly cheesesteak, is fast overtaking Atlantic City as the East Coast’s gambling capital and has the most casinos.
What’s even more interesting about Pennsylvania is that five years ago, it legalized casino gambling at airports, truck stops, and online. Therefore, if you live in or visit this state, there’s a casino or slot machine waiting for you practically wherever you go.
That said, Philadelphia has a lot more to offer than just gambling. As the nation’s birthplace, it’s an opportunity for history buffs to soak up some American backstory between betting sessions at the casinos.
New Orleans – Louisiana
Gambling has been legal in Louisiana for over 30 years, and New Orleans, famous for its annual Mardi Gras, is home to many brand-name casinos, like Harrah’s and Golden Nugget.
Casinos can be found in two places: within walking distance of the French Quarter and across the Mississippi on the Westbank at Boomtown New Orleans Casino and Hotel.
For a unique experience, check out the Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, an old-style paddle steamer converted into a casino moored on the Mississippi River’s east bank.
Deadwood – South Dakota
Gambling is legal in South Dakota, but only in one city, Deadwood. Made famous globally by the HBO series of the same name, this town still looks as it did back in the Wild West days of the mid to late 1800s.
Deadwood is the birthplace of famous characters Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. For casino thrills combined with re-enactments from the past, gambling in this city promises an experience like no other in the US.
Government officials outlawed gambling in 1905 but then legalized it again in 1989. South Dakota is one of the only states with a maximum bet limit per player, and no single wager can be more than $1,000. High-rollers, Deadwood may not be the destination for you.
An Alternative to Going to a Casino
If you can’t get to any of the casino towns we’ve listed, don’t worry; there is an alternative. If you live in one of the states where gambling is legal, why not play from the comfort of your home at an online casino instead?
Doing so is straightforward: choose from one of the many online casinos out there, create an account, deposit funds, and start playing.
If you’re unsure where to start, No Limit maintains high player engagement with its xWays feature on slots that increases the number of symbols on each reel.
Gambling Across the US
There you have it. Las Vegas isn’t your only option. If you’re in Northern California and want a taste of what a casino town was like last century, head over to Reno in Nevada.
If you’re an East Coaster, New Jersey’s Atlantic City is your playground and only a two-hour drive south of New York City.
If you plan to party at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, extend your stay and visit some of the casinos there.
If you want a casino of yesteryear experience complete with saw-dust-covered floors, Deadwood in South Dakota shouldn’t be missed.
Another unique casino experience can be found in New Orleans: jump on one of the converted paddle steamers and gamble your way down the Mighty Mississippi.
Finally, for US history buffs who want to visit historical sites and play in casinos at the same time, Philadelphia is the place to go.
Have fun gambling in any of the casino cities we’ve covered, and don’t forget you must be over 21 to enter their establishments.