The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City make the cities top destinations for exciting gambling getaways, but you do have other options; all but two states (Utah and Hawaii) allow some form of gambling within their borders.
There are over 900 different casinos in the country, so how do you decide where to go? We at DMV.org have compiled a list to help.
Choose Your Poison
First, decide what type of gambling you want to do. Are you looking for some casino action like slot machines, roulette, cards, bingo; or do you like to bet on horses or dogs? There are currently over 900 casinos nationwide, about half privately owned, the other half owned by Native American reservations. There are also over 28 racing tracks, but they are located in only 11 states, so you may have to travel some distance for this type of gambling.
Make Travel Arrangements
Determine how you wish to travel. Do you want to drive to your destination, or is flying a better option for you? Are the locations you are interested in close to major airports, or will you need to rent a car once you get there? Many community organizations now offer bus trips to various gambling locations, so if you'd rather not drive and like to travel with friends, this would be perfect.
Allot Your Gambling Funds
Determine your budget ahead of time. Decide how much money you can afford to lose, and only use that amount of money. Most people quit when they're behind, not when they're ahead, which is what they should do. It's smart to have a plan to quit when you reach a certain dollar amount during a winning streak, so you'll walk away a winner. And if you lose your budgeted money before you win, so what? You still had fun.
Ask About Accommodations
Check for packages. The casinos and racetracks want warm bodies, so prices at local hotels and restaurants usually offer reduced rates. Also check on transportation once you get there. Shuttle services are often provided between casinos in town; these are usually included in your package. Be sure to ask when you make reservations so you'll know whether you should rent a car.
Besides the top three gambling spots mentioned above, there are plenty of other locations to check out.
The Gulf Coast and its southern states offer gambling adventures in Louisiana and Florida including race tracks, casinos, gambling boats, and resorts. Of course,
Mississippi is overflowing with a myriad of gambling opportunities. From the casinos along the coastline in Biloxi and Gulfport, to the growth of Tunica on the northern border of the state, and Philadelphia, Greenville, Natchez, and Vicksburg situated between the two, you'll find resorts on land and water. Gambling cruises are a specialty. And since Hurricane Katrina-related damage, casinos are being rebuilt bigger and better than ever.
The northern state of Connecticut offers Foxwoods Resort and Casino, the largest casino in the world, with a world-class resort, while Oklahoma boasts casinos in over 60 cities and towns throughout the state. Some are owned by Native American tribes; others are privately owned.
Southland Park in West Memphis, Arkansas, is where you'll find some of the best racing in the world. There are over 400 live greyhound races held here each year, and hundreds more shown in simulcast at Southland. Thoroughbred horse racing is also shown in simulcast from tracks all around the world.
With gambling available nationwide, you're sure to find a location close to home. If not, there are always online gambling opportunities, just a click away.
Just remember that gambling can be an addiction, just like alcohol or drugs. If you have a problem with gambling, or someone you know is out of control, seek help. Look for a Gambler's Anonymous 12-step program in your area, or call the confidential hotline at 1-800-522-4700. Gambling addiction is a serious problem that can lead to bankruptcy, job loss, destruction of families, homelessness, and even suicide. Get help if you need it.Other Topics in This Section
- Tent or RV Camping
- How To Pull A Trailer
- Pre-trip Maintenance
- How To Map Your Route
- Planning Your Getaway
- RV Handling & Driving Tips
- Finding a Place to Park Your RV
- Getting Off the Beaten Path
- Roadside Attractions: Stopping Along the Way
- How To Reach Your Destination Safely
- How To Buy a Sailboat
- How To Buy a Power Boat
- Vintage Cars and Rallies
- Should You Join a Car Club?
- Fun with ATVs
- Saving Money on the Road
- How to Plan a Road Trip
- Stocking Your RV
- Top Ten Seasonal Scenic Drives
- Traveling With Your Pet
- National Parks
- Hitting the Slopes
- Preparing An Emergency Kit
- Preparing A First-aid Kit
- Crossing the Border
- Gambling Getaways
- Paper Maps and Online Guides
- Guide to GPS
- Wireless Maps on Cell Phones
- Beach Excursion
- Avoiding Road Construction
- Sample Trip Itineraries