Southern CA Tribal Casino Named Best Casino Outside Las Vegas

Written By Cheryl Coward on January 19, 2024 - Last Updated on January 22, 2024
A picture of a trophy for a story about Pechanga casino being selected as the best outside Las Vegas by Newsweek readers

Pechanga Resort Casino continues its impressive streak of accolades, earning the top spot in Newsweek’s “Best Casino Outside of Las Vegas” ratings. The Southern California casino in Riverside County beat out casinos across the country from New Jersey to Arizona in a late 2023 reader’s poll.

“Awards such as Newsweek’s prove a testament to the quality and service our team at Pechanga Resort Casino strives to deliver to our guests every day,” Ken Perez, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation, said. “We’re grateful to everyone who voted and showed their support for us.”

Readers voted on a list that featured contributions from a panel of five travel experts. Newsweek editors narrowed the list for a final ballot, and readers selected the top 10 resorts. The Southern California casino topped the list.

What Makes Pechanga Stand Out

Owned by the Pechanga Band of Indians, the Temecula Valley operation is the state’s second-largest casino.

Pechanga has state-of-the-art facilities, including 200,000 square feet of gaming space with 5,500 slot machines, 152 table games, and, according to the casino, “the most mystery card roulette and double-deck blackjack tables of any casino on the West Coast.” Casino patrons can also wager in a high-limit salon.

The resort’s recreational facilities make the casino a family-friendly vacation destination. Pechanga has a 4.5-acre pool complex, an 18-hole golf course, a two-story luxury spa and two concert halls. Its upscale lodging includes 1,100 hotel rooms.

Last year, Pechanga also won the prestigious AAA Four Diamond rating for the 22nd year. It has the longest streak of Four Diamond ratings of any casino in the state. Orange County Register readers also voted the resort as their favorite in a Summer 2023 reader’s poll.

Other California Resorts on the Newsweek List

Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage also made the list, finishing at No. 5. Located near Palm Springs, the resort has 77,000 square feet of gaming with 1,500 slot machines and 44 table games. It also has a 16-story AAA Four Diamond hotel.

The state’s largest resort casino, Yaamava’ Resort and Casino at San Manuel, is No. 7 on the Newsweek list. The massive facility has 7,200 slot machines and 150 table games, plus five high-limit rooms. It has two AAA Four Diamond ratings: one for its hotel and another for its chic The Pines Modern Steakhouse.

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Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward is a contributor for PlayCA with a background in sports journalism. She started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She’s a die-hard women’s basketball fanatic and founded the website as a result of that passion. She has extensive experience covering gambling and sports betting in California, including coverage of the Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 election battle.

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