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Northern California Casinos

Northern California Casinos

Old Aug 10, 16, 10:23 pm
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Northern California Casinos

I was wondering if anyone could offer comments/suggestions/comparisons of several of the casinos in northern Calif, especially Graton, River Rock, Cache Creek, Thunder Valley, or Red Hawk.
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Old Aug 11, 16, 1:29 am
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Graton is relatively new and shiny and Vegas-like. Food options are diverse; besides reasonable food court choices the non-food court restaurants are all quite decent but also pricey. I stopped going when they gutted their video poker pay tables. There's a sizeable regular poker room, usual slots and table games etc. They have an onsite hotel now. They're affiliated with Stations, although benefits are not directly transferrable (but you might get cross-marketing for LV based on play at Graton)

I haven't been to River Rock in quite a while but it's a dump compared to Graton. It had better VP at the time though. Food options are the casino were nothing to write home about, but you could combine a trip here with some wine tasting that's not as crowded/overrun as Napa/the rest of Sonoma.

I think I have basically walked through two of the other 3 you asked about, but I don't remember which 2 and can't tell you anything useful about them
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Old Aug 11, 16, 8:49 am
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Thunder Valley is in a pretty bleak, industrial area northeast of Sacramento, though not terribly far from Roseville. Inside, you'd never know where you are. It can be mighty hot in the area, and much (not all) of the parking is exposed.

Red Hawk is in a beautiful part of the Sierra foothills, though a bit further from the city/cities. Inside, it's possible to experience...natural light. It attracts fewer busloads of punters, or so it seems to me.

I'm strict vegetarian, so you wouldn't want my restaurant recommendations, nor would I.
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Old Aug 11, 16, 9:43 am
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Thanks - those are very helpful. We've been going south to Chumash, partly because we like the area around Santa Ynez and Los Olivos with quite a few really good restaurants, but thought we'd try a change of scenery. We used to go to Chukchansi before they closed down. Now that they've re-opened, we are tempted, but there is so little else in the area of any interest.
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Old Nov 14, 16, 11:49 pm
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Vegas, baby! Don't waste your coin at these dumps. Also don't trust any of them (CA does not have the resources of Nevada Gaming Commission).
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Old Nov 17, 16, 12:04 am
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Vegas, baby! Don't waste your coin at these dumps. Also don't trust any of them (CA does not have the resources of Nevada Gaming Commission).
While I can't speak to the Northern CA casinos, I find the better Indian casinos outside of San Diego compare quite favorably with the bigger Vegas casinos. I particularly would stack Barona, Sycuan, Valley View and Viejas with any Vegas casino, while Pauma offers a more quaint personal experience, and Harrah's Rincon has a really first rate comp program for new player's club members.

And BTW, I've generally found that the Table Games at the places listed above are more amenable to a serious player who is not a high roller whale than the big Vegas casinos are.
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Old Dec 16, 16, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Graton is relatively new and shiny and Vegas-like. Food options are diverse; besides reasonable food court choices the non-food court restaurants are all quite decent but also pricey. I stopped going when they gutted their video poker pay tables. There's a sizeable regular poker room, usual slots and table games etc. They have an onsite hotel now. They're affiliated with Stations, although benefits are not directly transferrable (but you might get cross-marketing for LV based on play at Graton)

I haven't been to River Rock in quite a while but it's a dump compared to Graton. It had better VP at the time though. Food options are the casino were nothing to write home about, but you could combine a trip here with some wine tasting that's not as crowded/overrun as Napa/the rest of Sonoma.

I think I have basically walked through two of the other 3 you asked about, but I don't remember which 2 and can't tell you anything useful about them
Back from our trip and agree with the assessment of Graton. Visually quite nice, as it is new. No luck at all with the gambling, though I would have to admit that our relatively short stays - 2 hrs each over 2 stays - is not statistically significant. Perhaps more significant is that neither of us saw anyone over the tho sessions getting a hand pay.
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Old Dec 22, 16, 4:33 pm
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I stayed near SJC this week and apparently there's a new casino that I don't remember being there before (Casino M8trix) and another one under construction across the street from my hotel. They may be potential options if you're already in the area and don't want to drive far for your gambling fix.

Originally Posted by lhgreengrd1 View Post
While I can't speak to the Northern CA casinos, I find the better Indian casinos outside of San Diego compare quite favorably with the bigger Vegas casinos. I particularly would stack Barona, Sycuan, Valley View and Viejas with any Vegas casino, while Pauma offers a more quaint personal experience, and Harrah's Rincon has a really first rate comp program for new player's club members.

And BTW, I've generally found that the Table Games at the places listed above are more amenable to a serious player who is not a high roller whale than the big Vegas casinos are.
I wonder if that's due to the level of competition combined with at least some being managed by companies with Vegas operations. (San Diego County has one of the highest numbers of Native American reservations in the US, IIRC.) In fact, buses for at least a couple of those casinos drop off/pick up people a couple of blocks from where I live.
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Old Dec 22, 16, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
I stayed near SJC this week and apparently there's a new casino that I don't remember being there before (Casino M8trix)
M8trix opened in 2012; it's essentially a transfer/reincarnation of Garden City (logistically I mean; I've never been inside M8trix but I imagine it's nicer inside )
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