This is an updated post. Seriously, how could I ever choose only three favorite casinos? So I’ve expanded it to five. So here are my Five Favorite Casinos and Why.
What are your favorite casinos, and what would you base your answer on? I’m picking one favorite from New England, two in the northeast, and two in Las Vegas.
Criteria For My Five Favorite Casinos and Why
- How well does the casino reward your play in comps?
- Is it the casino you win at?
- Is it where I have the most fun?
- How close is its proximity to your home?
- How’s the atmosphere? Smoking / non-smoking?
- Does it have favorable gambling conditions?
There are probably many more. In fact, for most of us, it’s a combination of all of the above. The following are grouped in categories but are not in favorite order. I consider them all equal in my mind.
New England, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT.
The reasons I like Mohegan Sun are simple. The combination of comps, promotions, and proximity make it my perfect locals joint. It’s quite an understatement to call Mohegan Sun, the second-largest casino in the country, a “local joint.” I can consistently play as a mid-roller and reach Momentum level three (Leap). Bert and I get to see great concerts (comped) when in normal times, enjoy the VIP lounges, and play great video poker, extremely important to me. And it’s less than twenty minutes away.
Because we visit Mohegan Sun most of any casino, we enjoy Mohegan Sun’s many outstanding dining options at normal times. Whether it’s a fabulous meal at Jordan’s Steakhouse, a casual burger at Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, or take out at the local favorite Pasta Vita, it’s a perfect fit for us. Modeled after the “M” Resort in Las Vegas, its buffet is the best in New England.
Northeast, Borgata, Atlantic City, N.J.
The “Borg” is just the best Atlantic City has to offer. It’s classy. It has the best VIP Lounge with Amphora and awesome dining options. The video poker is fantastic, with a full pay JOB at the quarter denomination. And while it keeps up with the latest slots, it has many older favorite machines. Besides that, it’s a large casino floor with good table game rules.
We love its buffet for breakfast. Another favorite is Bread and Butter, which offers fantastic breakfast options, sandwiches, and more. And talk about fine dining. Michael Mina, Bobby Flay, and Wolfgang Puck are just a few top chefs with great restaurants at Borgata. Every time we go there for fine dining, it never disappoints.
Finally, two things put Borgata over the top for us. First, the Water Club, the newest hotel tower with its own “adult pool,” bar, and lobby, has luxurious basic rooms. And a nice long hallway that takes you away from the sounds of the casino.
The icing on the cake? FlyBorgata. A small 30+ seat plane brings you to AC Airport on a Friday and then takes you home three days late. Transportation whisks you back and forth from the airport, Borgata, and back to the airport again. Best thing – not driving through New York City from Connecticut to get there. It has definitely spoiled us.
Northeast, – del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo, N.Y.
This is probably a surprise to most. I think they had me when we arrived. When you check-in at the hotel lobby, you are offered beverages, including champagne. It’s a small cozy lobby. The staff was exceptional throughout our stay.
The casino is new and spacious inside.
It’s spacious, with lots of new slots and playable video poker. But, a big feature here is the sportsbook. So when New York state approves legal sports betting, del Lago is ready. DraftKings Sportsbook at del Lago features over 1,000 square feet of cutting-edge LED screens, 23 betting kiosks, every game, all the time. More than a sportsbook, a premier bar experience; over 30 beers on tap, cocktails, and amazing food.
Finally, it seems to have everything a resort casino would have. Large entertainment venue with the Vine Showroom, numerous dining options, food court, buffet, headliners – del Lago seem to have covered it all.
We only stayed one night, but the accommodations were terrific. In addition, we were on our way to Niagara Falls, which is less than two hours away.
Viva not really IN Las Vegas… Red Rock Casino Hotel, Summerlain, NV.
Our favorite Las Vegas property isn’t in Las Vegas at all. It’s in Summerlin, thirty minutes away, northwest of the Strip. We started staying there since its inception in 2006 as only the second casino in Summerlin. Red Rock Resort has everything, including an exceptional pool area. Great gaming, great video poker, newest slots, and it has a locals flavor. Let’s call that an upscale locals flavor. And, even though we visit once a year, there’s always a room waiting for us.
Viva Downtown Las Vegas! – Main Street Station, Las Vegas, NV.
This little casino gem in Downtown Vegas has a special place in my heart. It’s probably the place I’ve stayed and gambled in more often over the last 25 years in the Las Vegas area. With charming Victorian-era architecture, dozens of rare antiques and curiosities, and award-winning restaurants, Main Street Station offers a truly unique destination experience. It even has a slab of the Berlin Wall in the men’s room!
Good odds on craps, great video poker, and the ability to play great VP and drink beer from one of the first local brewpubs in Las Vegas. The casino is small, but that’s part of the charm. The rooms are small and nothing special either, but it’s all part of the “Old Vegas” experience.
We have eaten at the Garden Buffet more than any other buffet except Mohegan Sun’s buffet. It’s a comfy space with all the usual cuisines. Since it caters to Hawaiian tourists, you can find Hawaiian eats like Poke and Lua Pulled Pork. I consider it a must-visit every time I visit Las Vegas, even if I stay elsewhere.
A Call For Action – What are Your Five Favorite Casinos?
Whether you live in New England, Mississippi, or Chicagoland, we’d love to hear about it. Please send us your list through our comments section. Also, post comments in the numerous New England Facebook communities. We hope to hear from you soon!
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