Las Vegas is speckled with casinos both big and small, but once you call the Vegas Valley home, your own definition of your favorite casino will change.
If you are a Las Vegas local, you really cannot completely ignore what the city has been built on, and that is the gaming and entertainment industry. And you shouldn’t ignore it because, frankly, the benefits to your quality of life skyrocket due to this large aspect of Las Vegas living.
With that said, you don’t want to trek to The Strip in order to get in a little action or to enjoy a decent meal. Locals’ casinos do a really good job of treating you and your neighbors like VIPs even if your address is located a few minutes away from the casino floor.
The Strip casinos might be larger and offer a full range of amenities that are hard to come by at your neighborhood casino, but they won’t return your money with the same regularity. Locals’ casinos tend to have looser slots and lower table limits than their Strip counterparts. Also, food and beverage prices are slightly lower the farther you move away from the Strip. If there is a way to keep you coming back it is to feed you and to give you plenty of opportunities to get a great deal. The locals’ casinos do that with their player’s clubs, their gaming options and their assortment of entertainment choices that range from movie theatres to bowling alleys.
We surveyed Las Vegas locals about the best places to gamble in Vegas and here are the results.
Survey Results: The Best Places for Locals to Gamble in Vegas
The Locals Agree
You won’t want to trek to The Strip in order to get in a little action or to enjoy a decent meal after you move to Vegas. The casinos listed by our survey respondents do a really good job of treating you and your neighbors like VIPs, even if your address is located a few minutes away from the casino floor.
The Strip casinos might be larger and offer a full range of amenities that are hard to come by at your neighborhood casino, but they won’t return your money with the same regularity. Locals’ casinos tend to have looser slots and lower table limits than their Strip counterparts. Also, food and beverage prices are slightly lower the farther you move away from the Strip.
If there is a way to keep you coming back it is to feed you and to give you plenty of opportunities to get a great deal. The locals’ casinos do that with their player’s clubs, gaming options and assortment of entertainment choices that range from movie theatres to bowling alleys.
Our Top 5 Locals’ Casinos
If you consider that some of these locals’ casinos are part of larger families of casinos, you might say we are splitting hairs when we list one and not the other. An example is the Station Casinos. If you join their player’s club, your benefits transfer and can be used at any of the Station properties. Picking one as a favorite might just be a matter of living closer to one than the other.
Red Rock Casino
The Red Rock Casino in Summerlin has a classy, luxurious feel and everything you would want in a resort without the hassle of Las Vegas Blvd. The casino is just as large as any on The Strip with a sports book, poker and bingo.
Before you do anything at the Red Rock Casino you’ll have to sign up for their player’s club, The Boarding Pass. The Pass opens the door to food and drink specials around the resort and it’s valid at all of the 15+ station casino properties. You’ll find local’s discounts on spa treatments at The Spa at Red Rock where they offer 30% off select services Monday through Thursday.
Dining options at Red Rock include steaks and cocktails at T-Bones Chophouse, Contemporary rustic American cuisine at Hearthstone and Mexican libations as well as south of the border hospitality at Libre. The $3.99 breakfast is legendary and it’s available all day. Also be sure to take advantage of their #TasteTheRock promotion during happy hour around the resort.
While the overwhelming favorite from our survey was Red Rock Casino, it is important to note they have one of the highest resort fees in town and the highest for off-Strip properties. They have a great spa and pool area but the theaters, food and entertainment options are on par with everyone else. The only real difference is that the population around the resort is a bit more affluent. When you walk in it feels nicer. It is cleaner and the subdued colors don’t scream locals’ casino. Plenty of locals not living in the Summerlin area would probably choose Green Valley or even M Resort before Red Rock.
Locals can use their Boarding Pass for gaming at Sunset Station, too, but the real fun is at the Sonoma Cellar, the Oyster Bar, Club Madrid and the Gaudi Bar. Factor in the IMAX theatre, the bowling alley, Kids Quest, and nearby shopping at the Galleria Commons and you have a recipe for a full day.
Your guests will be more than happy to stay here while you go home at the end of the evening. Locals indulge in the food and drink socials that are acquired through the generous player’s club.
Green Valley Ranch
Locals go to Green Valley Ranch for a touch of class and a slice of elegance, but they can still enjoy a typical Las Vegas casino experience with a selection of bars and lounges that could easily be found on the center of Las Vegas Blvd. Your glass of Barolo will be accompanied by a well-shaken martini at Hank’s Fine Steaks. Chef Brian Massie introduces you to his take on Rustic Italian cuisine at Bottiglia. You’ll parlay at the sports book, double down at low limit blackjack tables and scream bingo when your postage stamp number hits.
Your Boarding Pass will get you a deal on aromatherapy in The Spa, Bottomless Bubbles for Sunday Brunch and $1 Oysters every Tuesday. The entire family will catch a movie in the cinemas, play a game of Marco Polo in the Backyard Pool or go shopping in the District.
South Point Casino
South Point Casino features Michael’s Gourmet Room, one of the best fine dining restaurants in Vegas, plus bowling, bingo, burgers and so much more to keep locals coming back.
It’s about 8 miles from the center Strip which means it’s close enough to the tourist hub to keep the casino full, but just far enough to keep the prices down. The slot club pays on everything you spend. They have locals-friendly prices at the dining establishments and low limits at the tables.
If that’s not enough you can catch a movie in their 16 screen theatre or hit that 7-10 split in their 64 lane bowling alley. It is important to note that on busy weekends the South Point Casino can get crowded and during rodeo events the resort is just as crowded as any Strip casino.
The Suncoast has to compete with Tivoli Village and Boca Park so that means that their food offerings are priced to entice locals and their slots seem to be a bit on the loose side. Enjoy breakfast at Dupars, lunch at the Buffet and dinner at Salvatore’s all with an added discount compliments of their B Connected player’s club. The family will appreciate the movie theatres, bowling alley, and Time Out Arcade while the adults can get in 18 holes of golf before their daily 4-7 pm social hour.
Located in Summerlin, this casino is adjacent to the Shops and restaurants of Tivoli Village and the convenient shopping at Boca Park. Also, TPC Las Vegas, TPC Summerlin and Angel Park Golf Course are all within a pitching wedge from the resort.
The best places to gamble in Vegas will vary depending on proximity to your neighborhood as well as what you are looking to get from it. A locals’ casino with a huge poker room will only be beneficial to you if that is your game. If you are looking for lunch specials or entertainment, you will drive 20 minutes to the nearest casino that gives you what you need.
If you consider a locals’ casino to be more like your favorite shopping mall, you’ll understand that the nuances of what is available become factors in how frequently you visit. The most important thing to do is to join the player’s clubs at all of the locals’ casinos so that your benefits accumulate no matter where you go.
Good luck and have fun finding your favorite places to gamble in Vegas!
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