Last updated: 12:00 PM ET, Mon June 29 2015

And the Nation's Number One Casino Is…

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | June 29, 2015

And the Nation's Number One Casino Is…

Photo courtesy of Pechanga Resort and Casino.

USA Today’s Ten Best came out with its annual list of the Ten Best Casinos, and Las Vegas was almost completely absent from the list. The Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California was voted the best casino in the country by the readers of USA Today. Pechanga has a 200,000-square-foot casino, 3,400 slots, 130 table games, a 43-table poker room, 700-seat Bingo hall and areas for high limits and non-smoking gamers as well.

"We are ecstatic about being voted number one," said Lee Torres, Pechanga vice president of marketing. "We say a huge 'thank you' to everyone who cast their ballot for Pechanga. We all try every day to offer a distinguished standard of customer service. Being the nation's favorite casino is an incredible honor, and it's a testament to the perseverance of the Pechanga Tribe."

Las Vegas, who in the past ten years has moved away from gaming as being a primary focus and started to concentrate on whole-resort amenities like spa, day/night club, entertainment and restaurants, makes only one appearance in the top ten and that is Red Rock Casino, located off the strip and considered by many to be a “locals casino.”

The Borgata Hotel and Casino gave Atlantic City its sole entry onto the list, yet Connecticut had two with Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods coming in at number two and three respectively.  Here is the rest of the list:

Pechanga Resort & Casino - Temecula, Calif.

Mohegan Sun - Uncasville, Conn.

Foxwoods Resort Casino - Mashantucket, Conn.

L'Auberge Casino Resort - Lake Charles, La.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi - Biloxi, Miss.

Harrah's Resort Southern California - Valley Center, Calif.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa - Atlantic City

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa - Las Vegas

French Lick Resort - French Lick, Ind.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort - Lincoln, Calif.

Pechanga, happy to be voted number one, is giving thanks to their patrons by giving away $100,000 in a slot tournament that is free for anyone over the age of 21 to enter. 

"Twenty years ago, we opened with a very modest vision of simply creating jobs and opportunity for our tribe," said Patrick Murphy, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation. "Today we're humbled and honored to be recognized as the best casino in the United States. Our guests and our region have shown yet again how they feel about Pechanga through this poll and we are truly grateful."

The initial 20 nominees were picked by a panel of experts, and the top 10 winners were then picked by popular vote. 

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