Lesser-Known Gambling Destinations in North America

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Cartoon drawing of people outside casino building with poker chips, coins, banknotes, cards, and roulette.
BetMGM Dec 27, 2023, 5:30 AM

When you think about gambling destinations in North America, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, that’s probably Las Vegas. It might be Atlantic City, too. However, there are many other less famous options on the continent, all of which are well worth a visit.

In this blog post, you’ll discover some truly amazing destinations. At them, you’ll be able to take a break from your favorite online casino games and immerse yourself in some good old-fashioned gambling. All while avoiding the most crowded and tourist-filled locations.

Biloxi, Mississippi

First up, on the Mississippi coast, you’ll find Biloxi, an impressive city with numerous first-class casinos. Among the more outstanding examples are the Hard Rock Casino, Beau Rivage Resort, Palace Casino, and IP Casino Resort. 

Here’s an interesting tidbit about the history of gambling in Mississippi. In the past, most of it took place on water, taking advantage of a legal loophole. The law allowed riverboat and waterfront casinos to operate within the state.

This all changed after Hurricane Katrina back in August 2005. Afterward, it became legal to build casinos further inland. Nevertheless, Biloxi still remains an amazing seafront destination.

Additional Activities

For each city highlighted in this blog post, there are a few recommendations for non-gambling experiences. Biloxi, for example, being near the sea, offers many advantages.

You could sunbathe, swim, or simply relax on the beaches. Allow the soothing sound of the sea to take your mind off those bad beats. Additionally, there are many amazing seafood restaurants located nearby. 

Finally, if you’re a fan of the arcades, Big Play is a popular location in Biloxi. It offers bowling, laser tag, and go-karting, among other activities.

Reno, Nevada

This summary of lesser-known casinos in America wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Reno. Sharing a state with Las Vegas would overshadow any casino city, but there are many great reasons to visit Reno.

Here you’ll find multiple premium venues, both small casinos and large. Some of the highlights are Atlantis, Peppermill, Eldorado, and the Silver Legacy Resort. All of them offer a wide selection of slots and gaming tables. So, whether your favorite game is poker, jackpot slots, or something else, it’s certainly available in Reno.

Additional Activities

Reno is known as “the biggest little city in the world.” That’s what it says on the iconic sign, which you’ll discover if you take a stroll downtown.

If you like visiting museums, Reno offers something for everyone. Perhaps you’ll enjoy the National Automobile Museum. If that’s not your thing, you might prefer the Nevada Museum of Art, or the impressive science museum, The Discovery.

St. Louis, Missouri

Gambling on the banks of the Mississippi River remains very popular. St. Louis could certainly be considered one of the best casino towns outside of Vegas. The proverbial Midwestern hospitality definitely helps with that.

However, you’ll particularly enjoy it here if you’re a fan of the riverside casinos. One of the most popular spots is Lumiere Place Casino. It offers more than 1,700 slot machines, as well as 60 table games over 75,000 square feet. If you’re a poker enthusiast, you’ll love the 13-table card room, too. There are plenty of options for all avid gamblers.

If it’s real riverboat gambling you seek, a short drive over the border into Illinois takes you to Alton. Here you’ll find the Argosy Casino, a small riverboat casino formerly known as the Alton Belle.

Additional Activities

There’s a plethora of non-gambling options nearby. If you fancy a quick nature retreat, try the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the oldest and most prestigious of its kind in the United States. Furthermore, you could visit Forest Park or the St. Louis Zoo.

The city doesn’t lack iconic architecture, either. For example, there’s the iconic Gateway Arch, as well as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Without a doubt, there’s plenty to explore.

The Poconos, Pennsylvania

This one isn’t actually a city, but an entire region. Nevertheless, in the Poconos, you’ll find some of the most popular casinos in the U.S.

Amidst the beautiful scenery, you’ll discover various gambling options, including Mount Airy, Grey Wolf Peak, and Mohegan, Pennsylvania. 

Besides offering all of the games you can imagine, each casino also supplies plenty of additional entertainment. From stand-up comedy to concerts, there’s always something happening in the Poconos resorts.

Additional Activities

There’s plenty to do in the area, and you’ll be able to gamble while getting back to nature. You could explore Columcille Megalith Park, which is like Stonehenge, set in the Pennsylvanian woods. The beautiful Bushkill Falls are also well worth a visit. Of course, renting a boat and exploring Lake Wallenpaupack is always going to be a fun experience.

If you love both gambling and the great outdoors, you can’t really go wrong with the Poconos.

Deadwood, South Dakota

When discussing cities with the best gambling culture, it’s unreasonable to omit Deadwood. After all, the place is infused with Wild West history and gambling stories.

Many iconic gamblers lived here, like the legendary Wild Bill Hickok and Poker Alice. While they mostly gambled in somewhat dubious establishments, you’re going to be much better served these days. Some of the best options include the Midnight Star Casino, Tin Lizzie, and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort.

While these are all modern establishments, you’ll still feel like you’re gambling in the old days — minus the shootouts, of course. The city’s vibe is something special.

Additional Activities

Given that Deadwood is such a historical city, you won’t be short of things to see and do. Even just taking a walk around the historic old town is an interesting experience. 

Many like to visit the Mount Moriah Cemetery, where you’ll find the resting places of several iconic gamblers, including the aforementioned Wild Bill. Additionally, you could see a stage play that tells the story of the iconic moment when he was shot at the poker table in The Trial of Jack McCall.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, there are too many fantastic destinations spread around the North American continent to mention all of them. Nevertheless, here are some additional options for you to explore if you fancy a more exotic gambling trip.

  • Cancun, Mexico 
  • Nassau, The Bahamas
  • Niagara Falls, Canada
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Many Destinations, But No Place Like Home

There is certainly no shortage of quality casino destinations in the U.S. and the rest of North America. This blog post has shone the light on a few of the lesser-known venues where you’re guaranteed to have fun, both in and out of the casino

However, trips to physical locations require time, planning, and, above all, money. In the meantime, you can always register with BetMGM and play from the comfort of your own home. Here, you’ll find hundreds of the latest online slots and table games, as well as regular poker tournaments and cash games at a variety of stakes.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.