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