California
 

California's Indian casinos are embroiled in a legal dispute with the state concerning what kind of electronic gaming devices are allowed on their lands. As of mid-1998, there were more than thirty-five Indian casinos that were offering video online poker games, video keno, video slots, and video pull-tabs. The major difference between a slot machine and a pull-tab machine is that the pull-tab will accept cash but will not pay out in cash. Instead, when you wish to cash out the machine will print out a receipt which must be cashed by one of the floor attendants or at the casino cage. The states believe that these pull-tab machines are illegal, but an agreement has been worked out that allows the tribes to keep them in operation until a court decision settles the issue.

Many California Indian casinos also offer a player-banked version of online blackjack games. Under this system one player at the table acts as the banker, and the casino takes a commission from all of the players (including the banker) for dealing the cards and monitoring the games. Each casino sets its own rates, so be aware that the commissions will vary. In some casinos, such as Fantasy Springs, the commission is a flat $.50 per hand on $3 to $5 tables, or $1 per hand on $10 and up tables. In others, such as Jackson Indian Bingo and Casino, it is based on the size of the bet, ranging from $.25 to $3 per bet in commission charges.

California also has more than two hundred card rooms, and most of them allow some form of player-banked online blackjack games.

In southern California there are six casinos within a two-hour drive east of Los Angeles: Casino Morongo (800-252-4499) in Cabazon; Fantasy Springs Casino (800-827-2WIN) in Indio; San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino (800-359-BINGO) in San Bernardino; Soboba Casino (800-618-7774) in San Jacinto; Spa Casino (258-2WIN) in Palm Springs; and Spotlight Casino (619-775-5566) in Coachella.

There are three casinos within twenty-five miles of San Diego: Barona Casino and Bingo (888-7-BARONA) in Lakeside; Sycuan Gaming Center (619-445-6066) in El Cajon; and Viejas Casino and Turf Club (800-847-6537) in Alpine.

For a free California visitor's guide, or answers to any questions, call the state's department of tourism at 800-862-2543.

 
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