Layover At LAX? Here Are The Closest Casinos and Card Rooms

Written By C.J. Pierre on December 27, 2023 - Last Updated on December 28, 2023
Nighttime image of the sign for LAX, which is close to several nearby card rooms and casinos for gamblers during a layover

Los Angeles International Airport, commonly known as LAX, sees the fifth-most passenger traffic in the country. For gamblers looking to fill their time during a layover, there are several nearby California casinos and card rooms to visit.

The Golden State has long been a prime gambling destination for poker players, thanks to the many California card rooms. A card room can be a modest facility with more seats at the bar than at the tables or a casino-like property with hundreds of card tables and gambling options.

In terms of Southern California casinos that are Las Vegas-style, tribal-run facilities with slot machines and table games, none are all that close to LAX. The closest is Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in Highland, about 80 miles from LAX. It’s the largest casino on the West Coast, with more than 7,000 slots. But it’s an hour-and-a-half drive from the airport. The next closest is Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, which is 104 miles from LAX.

Here’s a list of gambling facilities near LAX. All are card rooms.

1. Hollywood Park Casino – 4.2 miles from LAX (10-15 minute drive)

In 1994, the Hollywood Park Casino was added to the Hollywood Park Racetrack complex in Inglewood, California. The card room eventually moved to a new building in 2016 after the closure and demolition of the racetrack in 2013.

Hollywood Park now has approximately 125 tables for poker and modified table games. The card room also has a separate gaming area for high-stakes players and celebrity poker tournaments. There is a restaurant and sports bar called Century Bar & Grill. Hollywood Park only permits card games, which include Omaha Hold ’em, three-card poker, and Mexican Poker.

2. Lucky Lady Casino – 10.8 miles from LAX (15-20 minute drive)

Lucky Lady Casino is a card room located in Gardena, California. The venue was initially called the Normandie Casino. However, it was shut down in April 2016 when the state revoked its gambling license due to a felony conviction of the owner. It reopened as the Lucky Lady Casino in July 2016.

There is 15,000 square feet of space with over 50 gaming tables. Poker games include Texas Hold ’em and seven-card stud. There are also modified table games such as Blackjack, Pai-Gow Poker, and Pan 9. The Red Dragon Room features high-limit Asian games.

The venue also features a restaurant offering many Asian cuisines like Mandarin, Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean, along with a standard Continental menu.

3. Hustler Casino – 11.5 miles from LAX (15-20 minute drive)

Hustler Casino is a card room in Gardena, California, approximately 15 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles. It has operated since June 22, 2000, and reportedly makes over $20 million annually.

A major expansion in February 2007 included The Crystal Room, which serves as a combination card room, special events room, conference room, and poker tournament site. The card room also hosts one of the biggest seven-card stud games in the world. The poker room boasts 50 tables, with more possible during special events or busy periods. This is on top of the 30 tables dedicated to other table games for those who want a break from poker.

4. Crystal Casino – 17.5 miles from LAX (20-25 minute drive)

Crystal Casino is in Compton, California, and is open 24/7. The card room’s 100,000-square-foot gaming space features dozens of modified table games. The property also has two restaurants and a hotel with over 200 rooms.

Modified table games at the venue include No-Bust Blackjack and 3 Card Stud. There is also Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, and Pan 9.

5. Parkwest Bicycle Casino – 18.9 miles from LAX (20-25 minute drive)

Parkwest Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, famously known as The Bike, is one of the most legendary card rooms in the industry. The property is home to 185 poker tables.

One of the main reasons The Bike is so popular in Southern California is that it is one of the few card rooms that offers numerous limit Texas Hold ’em games. Each day, you’ll find 10-15 limit hold ’em games, with blinds ranging from $4/$8 all the way up to $200/$400. The Bike also offers a selection of poker games and Asian games, with a wide range of limits, including Blackjack, Seven-Card Stud, Omaha Hold ’em, Mexican Poker, Pai Gow Poker, and Baccarat.

6. The Commerce Casino & Hotel – 23.6 miles from LAX (30-minute drive)

The Commerce Casino & Hotel is located in the LA suburb of Commerce. With over 240 tables on-site, it is the largest card room in the world. As of 2016, the venue reportedly provided the city $22 million a year in licensing fees.

The Commerce Casino offers more Texas Hold ’em games than any other casino in the world. There is also a wide variety of different limit, pot limit, and no-limit poker games, including seven-card stud, Omaha Hold ’em, and HORSE. The card room is also home to several poker tournament series, including the Los Angeles Poker Classic and the California State Poker Championship.

In addition to the main card room, the complex includes a full-service 200-room Crowne Plaza Hotel, which houses dining establishments, a day spa, a beauty salon, a pool and sundeck, banquet rooms, shops, and entertainment.

7. The Gardens Casino – 25.6 miles from LAX – (30-minute drive)

The Gardens Casino’s convenient location makes it a great destination to stop by while exploring LA. The venue is 200,000 square feet with more than 300 tables and a player capacity of 5,000 to 7,000 players.

The Gardens Casino hosts poker tournaments daily and on special occasions. Weekend nights are the best time to visit the casino, where popular artists deliver fantastic music, comedy, and drama performances. There is only one restaurant on the property. However, it is open 24/7 and offers a Sunday brunch. You can also enjoy handcrafted drinks and local Californian wine brewed fresh off the casino’s private vineyard.

Photo by AP Photo/Reed Saxon
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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at PlayCA. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino, sports betting and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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