RV-friendly Casinos & Other Gaming Across America
RVers are most definitely in luck when it comes to casinos and other gaming options across the United States. Many gaming destinations welcome RVers with open arms, including: low- or no-cost camping at or near casinos and other gambling venues; RV-friendly facilities; frequent visitor programs; discounts on food, shopping, entertainment, and accommodations.
RV Friendly Gaming
Today, more than ever, the good news for RV gaming aficionados is: you dont have to trek all the way to Las Vegas or Atlantic City for your gaming fun, says Jane Kenny in her excellent book, Casino Camping (Item #44072, Club Price $13.99 Reg. $15.55, Roundabout Publications). The book provides details about gaming destinations across the country, including RV-specific information about facilities, discounts, comps, directions, blacktop boondocking etiquette, and more.
Also focusing on casinos, the helpful website CasinoCamper.com lists more than 30 states offering some sort of casino where RVers are welcome (Las Vegas, Laughlin, Reno, and Tunica, Mississippi all have their own pages). The options can range from full-blown casino-side RV resorts with all the facilities and services to free dry camping next to a building with a few slot machines.
Along with traditional land-based casinos that make up the large majority of gaming options, RVers can often camp adjacent to or near riverboats and racetracks, with many horse and dog tracks now featuring varied casino-like gambling in their own racinos (generally machine gambling through traditional slots, video blackjack and poker, and video keno). This makes it easy to get game in the four corners of the U.S. and practically every location in between.
Location, Location, Location
The U.S. certainly isnt lacking in gaming options for RVers. Nevada is still the hotspot when it comes to welcoming RVers, but tourism touts from Connecticut, Mississippi, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, and more love to see big rigs crossing their state lines. While land-based casinos (including many Native American options) are the traditional draw for most locations, riverboat casinos and horse and dog tracks often provide other options.
Of course, Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada still reign as king in the hearts of many RVers. This is due to a plethora of gaming options and RV-specific facilities. For instance the Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus, Sams Town Casino Resort & RV Park, and several others all provide modern RV resort facilities adjacent to huge casinos (with lots of other gaming options nearby that make casino hopping easy).
Typical of the possibilities at casino-based RV resorts, the modern Las Vegas KOA features a great location on the Strip (including Circus Circus right next door), paved full-service sites, a swimming pool, hot tub, and sauna, playground, laundry, and a store. Manager Greg Dunagan says, "We have great people here to help our guests get the most out of their Las Vegas experience."
Las Vegas is also the queen of discounting, with coupons and giveaways for restaurants, shopping, and entertainment the norm. To the south, where Nevada meets Arizona and California, Laughlin has developed into another city that specifically welcomes RVers with varied casino-side camping, discounts, and more.
Other casino camper options abound across the nation. Many Native American casinos have specifically targeted RVers with resort-like facilities. For instance, KOA has partnered with several gaming resorts to provide one-stop shopping to camping gamers, including: the Mojave Tribes Avi Resort & Casino in Laughlin; Californias Feather Falls Casino & RV Park in Oroville (the Concow-Maidu of Mooretown Rancheria Tribe); and a new KOA resort at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. KOAs System Development Vice President Pat Hittmeier also says the Twenty Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians in California plans to open two California KOAs (more than 40 tribes are involved in California casinos).
In Connecticut, the huge Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino provide a winning pair of options. However, only free overnight dry camping is provided in nearby parking lots. The same is true for New Jerseys bustling Atlantic City, where dry camping or shuttling from campgrounds outside town is the best bet.
The options at these various venues can vary greatly, but gaming possibilities can include: traditional casino table games like poker, blackjack, and roulette; widely varied slots and other machines; on- and off-track horse and dog pari-mutual wagering; and legalized sports betting (limited to a few spots). RV rallies at gaming destinations, as well as tournaments, are drawing more and more gaming RVers to specific resorts.
Players Club membership at one or more casinos can lead to a wide range of discounts and more. Joining is easy and theres often a free gift just for signing up. In-the-know RVers know that they should always ask about discounts and coupons (many RV resorts also honor AAA, AARP, Good Sam, FMCA, KOA Value Kard, and other appropriate membership cards).
What to Expect
The options for RVers who have game are better than ever--but widely varied. While complete RV resorts located adjacent to gaming resorts (with even more facilities) are more numerous than ever, theyre not the norm. The more typical camping situation may include basic (or no) hookups, with little or no additional RV-friendly offerings (beyond a great location at or near the gaming facility of choice--thats often free). Blacktop boondockers are sometimes limited to one or two nights at certain casinos (be sure to check--and check-in!).
A website like casinocamper.com or a book like Casino Camping are incredibly valuable resources to RVers looking for a place to play--and camp. The rv.net blog also has some great insight into what to expect when casino camping (blog.rv.net/category/casinocamping/).
Given all of the options, its easy to see why so many RVs can be found just outside casinos and other gaming options. These in-the-know RVers are winners even before they make their first bet!
Got More than Game?
One of the beauties of camping adjacent to or near a gaming facilities is that theres often so much more to see and do beyond staring at a slot machine. The options can include: entertainment (from Broadway-style shows to headliner acts); one-of-a-kind shopping; free, inexpensive, or often creative dining (Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and other gaming destinations are experiencing a world-class restaurant renaissance); and a number of family-friendly options beyond the casinos walls (ranging from amusement parks to childrens museums)!
For information about non-gaming options in the most popular gaming states,
visit their helpful tourism websites:
*New Jersey: state.nj.us/travel
Game Your Way Across the USA
Heres a state-by-state summary of the varied gaming options throughout the United States:
*Alabama: Native American casino and racino offerings
*Arizona: Native American casinos spread throughout the state
*California: Vegas-style Native American casinos across the state
*Colorado: Small casino-hopping is popular in Black Hawk/Central City and Cripple Creek
*Connecticut: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are huge
*Delaware: Racinos reign here
*Florida: racinos and stand-alone casinos are another reason for the Sunshine States popularity with RVers
*Idaho: electronic gaming and bingo only, but Fort Hall Casino & RV Park and Clearwater River Casino Hotel & Campground both love RVers
*Illinois: mostly traditional riverboat casinos
*Indiana: riverboats, racinos, and more
*Iowa: all the options
*Kansas: several Native American options for RVers and more are on the way
*Kentucky: Trackside RV Park is just outside the legendary Churchill Downs gate
*Louisiana: great variety, including a luxury French Quarter RV resort less than a mile from Harrahs New Orleans
*Maine: one racino
*Michigan: Native American and non-tribal casino options throughout the state
*Minnesota: many RVer-friendly tribal options
*Mississippi: known as the Casino Capital of the South, with many land- and water-based options in Tunica County, the Gulf Coast, Biloxi, and more along the mighty Mississippi
*Missouri: mostly riverboat options
*Montana: generally limited small casino operations
*Nevada: the gaming RVer mother lode, with Las Vegas, Laughlin, Reno, and more leading the way (and welcoming RVers)
*New Jersey: Atlantic City continues to grow in popularity
*New Mexico: the state has many Native American-owned and operated casinos, with several featuring full-service RV parks
*North Carolina: Harrahs Cherokee Casino is very popular with RVers who like the mountains and Native American culture
*New York: racinos and Native American casino options
*North Dakota: several Native American casinos (some campgrounds may close in winter)
*Oklahoma: home to more Native American tribes and casinos than any other state
*Oregon: many bustling Native American casinos
*Pennsylvania: mostly racinos and small slots parlors
*South Dakota: many Native American casinos and lots of small gaming locations (Deadwood is quite popular)
*Washington: many Native American casinos*West Virginia: racinos
*Wisconsin: many Native American casinos
*Wyoming: a few Native American options