Every year, the Southern California Gaming Guide asks its readers to choose the best casinos in Southern California across several categories?
This year’s results are out.
Guide surveys patrons at two dozen casino resorts
Only federally recognized Native American tribes are allowed to run casinos in California. There are around two dozen casinos in Southern California.
Readers of the gaming guide patronize the 24 Southern California casino resorts throughout the year, providing feedback that helps determine the Readers’ Choice Best Casinos awards.
Voting took place in August. Let’s take a look at which properties shined brightest.
Thirteen casinos represented in 17 categories
The poll consisted of 17 categories for readers to submit their favorite casinos. They ranged from the luckiest casino and loosest slots to the best promotions, dining and also entertainment. Each category listed the top three casinos.
In total, 13 casinos appeared in the results. Harrah’s Southern California and Pechanga Resort Casino each topped the list with three first-place awards. Harrah’s SoCal was recognized as having the best casino, players club and casual dining options, while Pechanga had the best blackjack, golf course and pool.
Valley View Casino & Hotel, Sycuan Casino and Yaamava’ Resort & Casino all won two first-place awards.
Other winners were Agua Caliente Casinos, Chumas, Pala, Morongo, Viejas, Soboba, Barona and also Pauma.
Readers’ Choice Best Southern California Casinos
|Category||Winner||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|Luckiest Casino||Morongo Casino Resort & Spa||Valley View Casino & Hotel||Soboba Casino Resort|
|Loosest Slots||Sycuan Casino Resort||Pala Casino Spa Resort||Casino Pauma|
|Best Casino||Harrah's Resort Southern California||Valley View Casino & Hotel||Viejas Casino & Resort|
|Best Casino Resort||Yaamava' Resort & Casino at San Manuel||Pechanga Resort Casino||Pala Casino Spa Resort|
|Best Service||Barona Resort & Casino||Pechanga Resort Casino||Valley View Casino & Hotel|
|Best Promotions||Valley View Casino & Hotel||Chumash Casino Resort||Yaamava' Resort & Casino at San Manuel|
|Best Players Club||Harrah's Resort Southern California||Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage||Valley View Casino & Hotel|
|Best Slots Tournaments||Pala Casino Spa Resort||Morongo Casino Resort & Spa||Yaamava' Resort & Casino at San Manuel|
|Best Fine Dining||Valley View Casino & Hotel||Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage||Chumash Casino Resort|
|Best Casual Dining||Harrah's Resort Southern California||Yaamava' Resort & Casino at San Manuel||Pechanga Resort Casino|
|Best Entertainment||Yaamava' Resort & Casino at San Manuel||Pala Casino Spa Resort||Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage|
|Best Blackjack||Pechanga Resort Casino||Viejas Casino & Resort||Soboba Casino Resort|
|Best Bingo||Sycuan Casino Resort||Viejas Casino & Resort||Chumash Casino Resort|
|Best Poker Room||Chumash Casino Resort||Sycuan Casino Resort||Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage|
|Best Spa||Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage||Harrah's Resort Southern California||Sycuan Casino Resort|
|Best Golf Course||Pechanga Resort Casino||Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage||Morongo Casino Resort & Spa|
|Best Pool||Pechanga Resort Casino||Harrah's Resort Southern California||Sycuan Casino Resort|
Six casinos stood above the others
Pechanga, Agua Caliente and Valley View topped the list with six total awards. Sycuan, Yaamava’ and Harrah’s SoCal followed with five.
Valley View and Sycuan won fewer awards than in 2021 (10 and eight, respectively). Pechanga added three new awards from 2021: best blackjack (1st place), best service (2nd place) and best casual dining (3rd place).
Most Readers’ Choice Awards in 2022
|Casino||Winner||2nd Place||3rd Place||Total|
Yaamava’ bursts on to the scene
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino’s two awards came in the “best casino resort” and also “best entertainment” categories. These are much deserved after completing a $760 million expansion, including a 17-floor hotel and also a $76 million state-of-the-art music venue.
Of its five awards, only one was a repeat from 2021. It finished third in “best slots tournaments,” placing in that category for the fifth straight year. Its complete list of “Best” awards:
- Casino Resort – 1st place (2021 result: not ranked)
- Entertainment – 1st place (2021: not ranked)
- Casual Dining – 2nd place (2021: not ranked)
- Promotions – 3rd place (2021: not ranked)
- Slots Tournaments – 3rd place (2021: 3rd place)
In 2021, Yaamava’ appeared on the awards list just twice, with no first-place awards. Those awards were:
- Best Blackjack – 2nd place (2022 result: not ranked)
- Best Slots Tournaments – 3rd place (2022: 3rd place)
Eleven casinos go unmentioned
After all was said and done, the remaining 11 SoCal casinos did not win any awards. Many of these casinos are smaller than those represented above. Of these casinos, only Fantasy Springs fell from the 2021 list, when it won one award (Best Bingo – 3rd place).
The 11 casinos that did not win in 2022:
- Augustine Casino
- Cahuilla Casino
- Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
- Golden Acorn Casino & Travel Center
- Havasu Landing Resort & Casino
- Jamul Casino
- Quechan Casino Resort
- Red Earth Casino
- Sho-Ka-Wah Casino
- Spotlight 29 Casino
- Tortoise Rock Casino