The 5 Best States for Gamblers Outside of Nevada

Gambling is one of those things that we all try at least once in our lives, and for some, all too many. For casino goers, their love for gambling goes as far as taking a trip to distant states with lively and exciting commercial casinos. According to the American Gaming Association, 23 states allow on-site casino gaming. 

It’s not surprising that Las Vegas is the go-to destination when it comes to gambling. But did you know that other states in the U.S. are starting to pull in big numbers in terms of guests and revenues? If you have limited knowledge on where to go for your next big casino adventure, we have compiled the top 5 biggest land-based casino destinations in the country. Furthermore, some of these states permit other recreational betting activities including racetracks, video casinos, and riverboats.

Here are the top casino gaming venues, which we think you should try to visit at least once in your life. We know you love Vegas but exploring other places might just be as exciting and rewarding, too.

1. New Jersey (Atlantic City)

Gross Casino Gaming Revenue: 2.9 billion 

Number of casinos: 12

Although famed for being the second-best in the land-based casino realm, you can’t deny that Atlantic City is just as seductive as Vegas (at least for those who live on the East Side). Atlantic City in New Jersey is the ultimate place for overnight guests who want to get rich quickly. 

The number of land-based casinos may not be as impressive as that of Las Vegas, but most of the existing properties are massive, to say the least. The entire stretch of ocean coast is teeming with gorgeous beaches and huge buildings, all of them presenting themselves as irresistible places for serious casino gamers. 

Here are a few of the most popular beachfront casino destinations in Atlantic City:

  • Hard Rock Casino
  • Caesars Atlantic City
  • Tropicana Atlantic City

If you want to check out casinos located in the more secluded areas of the city, we highly recommend the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. It features a large marina right next to offering the best views during the day. If you can’t make it to the casino, New Jersey is one of the few states that has legal online casinos available, both online and mobile.

2. Louisiana (New Orleans)

Gross Casino Gaming Revenue: 2.56 billion

Number of casinos: 18

New Orleans is a vibrant city filled with history and splendour. But did you know that it’s one of the best gambling cities in the country, too? In fact, Louisiana has the largest casino gaming area in the whole of the United States. 

Casino goers will never get bored in Louisiana, as it has the perfect mix of heritage, good food, and casino gaming in New Orleans. Harrah’s New Orleans is strategically located near the historic French Quarter. Within its walls, you’ll find expansive gambling floors with tables for number games including roulette, mini and midi-Baccarat, and blackjack just to name a few. 

Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best casino cities in the country due to its excellent attractions apart from its majestic casino establishments. It’s the perfect place to visit when you and your friends simply want to have fun over the weekend. 

Another interesting casino destination in Louisiana is the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots. It houses almost 600 casino slots inside its premises. You may also find some video poker installations, too. It also houses the third oldest track in the US, and this is something that you can experience yourself. 

3. Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Gross Casino Gaming Revenue: 3.25 billion

Number of casinos: 11

Machines in commercial casinos: 25,849

If you are looking for the best riverfront casino city, head to Philadelphia. There might not be that many casinos in the city but it boasts a variety of slot machines. Harrah’s Philadelphia is one of the best casinos with its relaxing resort vibe. It has the largest collection of machines and table games in Pennsylvania. 

The gambling facility features a total of 2,000 slot machines, 28 poker tables, and a variety of other table games stables are there, too. You can find just about everything at Harrah’s in Philadelphia. 

The city also offers other betting opportunities for serious gamblers such as horse racing, thanks to the big track located in between the casino and riverfront. Its amenities are world-class, with its classy bars and upscale restaurants, including a steakhouse and high-end entertainment venues, you will never find yourself bored in Philly. Online gambling in the state is also growing a staggering rate.

4. Illinois (Chicago)

Gross Casino Gaming Revenue: 1.37 billion

Number of casinos: 10

Apart from the dizzying skyscrapers in Chicago, did you know that it is the biggest casino city in the state of Illinois? It is poised as the next big casino city in the country. Gamblers from all over America flock Chicago to play their favourite slot and table games inside the city’s most extravagant casinos. 

The Majestic Star Casino is perhaps one of the best casino destinations in Chicago. It features six-floor levels that are outfitted with 1500 slot machines and other exciting gaming facilities. With a scenic backdrop overlooking the blue skyline of the lake, you will find Chicago as a relaxing city to unwind and gamble after many days of hard work. 

On the other side of the city is Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago standing tall along its massive marina and plenty of green waterfront spaces. These two magnificent casino destinations are located far away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago making it the perfect place for a relaxing gambling experience. 

It’s not only in Chicago that you’ll find awesome casinos in the state of Illinois. A couple of hours away from Chicago are Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Harrah’s in Joliet, and Grand Victoria in Elgin. 

5. Iowa (Council Bluffs and Carter Lake)

Gross Casino Gaming Revenue: 1.46 billion

Number of Casinos: 18

If you’re looking for a peaceful and intimate casino gambling experience, prepare your luggage and get yourself ready for what the state Iowa offers. Two amazing cities in Iowa are gaining popularity due to their lavishly quiet casino resort facilities. 

The towns of Council Bluffs and Carter Lake are gaining traction in the casino gaming world, due to their country charm mixed with the unique excitement of casino gaming. They are located just outside Omaha City and strategically on both banks of the river. Harrah’s Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Casino are the hottest casinos ever built in Iowa. They showcase enormous gambling floors with plenty of gaming attractions that players simply could not resist. 

Horseshoe Council Bluffs also has its own greyhound racing track boasting a total gaming space of 68,000 sq. ft., and with almost 1,500 slot machines, you will never run out of tables and games to place wagers on. 

Carter Lake City is an emerging casino destination in Iowa, too. With the opening of the overwhelmingly huge casino resort, the Prairie Flower Casino. The impressive resort hotel offers guests generous promotions and bonuses on a daily and weekly basis. They also feature world-class amenities ranging from a BBQ restaurant to quaint pubs with the best cocktails in town. 

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Blogging since 2011. Founder of, founded in 2012. From the beautiful Upper Peninsula. Real name is Trevor Uren.

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