If you’re in desperate need of a holiday where you can unwind, relax and have tons of fun at the same time. Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is certainly a place you will want to keep at the top of your list! This lovely town is the ideal getaway for sports enthusiasts looking to hit the slopes. But it’s also a fantastic place to let off steam inside the lavish hotels, spas, and top-level casinos. While gambling in Lake Tahoe, you’ll find ‘mountains’ of real money slots, video poker machines, roulette and blackjack tables, craps, sportsbooks and much more!

It’s hard to imagine that this quaint city would have so much to offer, especially considering the bright lights of Reno are just a stone’s throw away! But surprisingly, there’s a lot more going on in and around Lake Tahoe than most people think. A visit there can also work out to be a much more affordable (not to mention calmer and quieter!) alternative experience for many gamblers and holidaymakers.


Lake Tahoe gambling

Nestled deep in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe is a post-card-worthy paradise. Many people escape every year for its beautiful, crystal-clear waters, striking mountainous landscapes, and abundance of historical and cultural landmarks. The Lake itself is situated between Nevada and California, measuring 21 miles long and 12 miles wide. With a depth of 1,645 ft (501m), it is also the largest, second-deepest, fresh-water lake in the whole of the United States after ‘Crater Lake’ in Oregon.

According to historical reports, the Lake is over 2 million years old and its basin was supposedly formed during the ice age. Over 75% of the lake’s watershed is made up of national forest land. And the entire area acts as one of the biggest tourist attractions for seasonal sports and outdoor recreational activities within both of the above states.


Lake Tahoe history

Tahoe was discovered by the nomadic Native American tribes back in the 1800s. They journeyed there to gather medicinal plants, fresh fish and bask in the cool, clear blue waters.

Some 50 years later, the lake was discovered by a man known as John C. Fermont, who, at the time, was crossing over the treacherous mountain pass that led to the surrounding lands.

In 1860, gold and silver were both discovered. This boom turned Tahoe into one of the main mining sources in the country. Soon it developed as a connection town for transporting precious metals to and from Virginia City.

Just after the turn of the century, in 1905, Tahoe had made it onto the map. Later, it gained a reputation for its legendary fortune and picturesque surroundings.

By 1960, it became a haven for winter sports activities. Enjoy cross country, skiing, world-class downhill, snowboarding, and downhill mountain biking.


Enjoy the exceptional indoor and outdoor sports facilities at Lake Tahoe. It’s also home to an array of wholesome and fun amenities for the entire family to enjoy. The casino and hotel district offers tons of things to do. Most of these resorts sport their own unique shopping plazas. They’re home to fitness centers, spas with swimming pools, golf courses, cinemas, nightclubs, bars, and multiple play areas for children and infants.

One way to see the area in its entirety is by embarking on one of the sightseeing cruises. These boat rides allow you to take in all of Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty while you relax above deck. Dig into a delicious lunch/dinner prepared for you on board. If you fancy something a little more cozy and intimate, be sure to check out the Tahoe Amore Gondola cruises instead!

Some other fun and amusing things to do other than gambling in Lake Tahoe are:

  • Take a two-hour boat tour of the stunning Emerald Bay
  • Visit Yosemite National Park and explore its scenic nature trails 
  • Knock a few back on the Lake Tahoe Brewery Tour
  • Take a helicopter ride over Sand Harbor
  • Visit the famous Hellman-Ehrman mansion
  • Take a day trip to Virginia City



You can spend hours or even your whole vacation hitting the slopes, relaxing in the spas, or partying the nights away in some of the city’s stylish nightclubs. But if you’re looking for a broader spectrum of entertainment options in Lake Tahoe, there’s a ton of options to choose from.

Other ways to experience this beautiful city can be done through a hot-air balloon ride, horse and carriage, aerial tram rides, and even on a wooden sleigh complete with reindeer!

Get to know the history and culture behind Lake Tahoe by visiting some of its prestigious art galleries and American heritage museums. Some of these institutions house incredibly old artifacts and antiques which were once used by the residents of Tahoe back in the 1800s!

Lastly, if you’re planning a trip to the city with some of your male buddies, many hotels are stag party friendly.They will go out of their way to make sure your stay and last moments as an eligible bachelor are unforgettable! For those looking to turn up the heat a bit in this mostly cold city, there’s a string of exotic nightclubs with erotic dancers to explore as well.

Top 10 Lake Tahoe casino resorts

Lake Tahoe welcomes thousands of visitors each year to experience its natural beauty and charm while indulging in a variety of different sports, gambling, and other leisurely activities. But where should you go if you are planning your own visit? We rounded up the top 10 best casinos & hotel resorts according to honest reviews and customer experiences on TripAdvisor.

#1 – Casino at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

This is one of the many casino resorts which was originally owned by William F. Harrah himself until it was taken over by Vici Properties in 2017. Today, the casino today is operated by Caesars Entertainment.

This 18-story building hosts 525 rooms complete with flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi in every room throughout the hotel. Special blackout curtains and soundproof walls provide extra peace and privacy.

The 24-hour casino boasts over 1,300 video poker machines and slots across a 65,000 sq. ft. gaming floor, making it one of the biggest casinos in the whole city. It was also the first casino in history to receive a five-star diamond rating!

#2 – Harvey’s Casino

Harvey’s was opened in 1944 by Harvey Gross and his wife – originally meat wholesalers from Sacramento! The couple was the first to open the first-ever high-rise tower in 1963. Today the casino houses over 740 rooms and suites, an 87,500 sq. ft. casino space, plus six restaurants. It also features a wedding chapel, video arcade, convention center, and health spa club.

Like Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harvey’s was also taken over by Vic Properties last year as part of a corporate spin-out. The lease was later handed back to Caesars Entertainment.

#3 – Lakeside Inn & Casino

Formerly the Montbleu, this swanky resort offers various amenities, including an indoor swimming pool and a fine dining restaurant. It is also home to the Bally’s Lake Tahoe Theater and just a 10-minute walk from the Lake Tahoe shore. For skiing enthusiasts, Heavenly Ski Resort is a short 10-minute drive away.

Every room at Bally’s Lake Tahoe Casino Resort comes equipped with cable TV, comfortable linens, a seating area, and a modern en suite bathroom with frosted glass. Some suites even offer stunning views of the lake and mountains, along with a luxurious spa bath for two.

Onsite, guests have access to a fitness center, nightclubs, and a casino for entertainment. Additionally, they can indulge in relaxation at the full-service spa located within the resort, known as Resort Bally’s Lake Tahoe Casino & Spa.

For dining options, guests can enjoy the Four Diamond Ciera Steak & Chophouse for a formal dining experience. Alternatively, there are casual dining choices available onsite, such as Bally’s Lake Tahoe Café, Café del Soul, and The Zone.

#4 – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

This one has undergone several renovations and changes to its name over the years. When it originally opened in 1965, it was known as Sahara Tahoe. Elvis Presley himself performed here for many years up until his death in 1977. After rebranding another 3 times, it became the Hard Rock in 2015 after a series of renovations. Gambling in Lake Tahoe doesn’t get much better!

They own 23 acres of land right next to Lake Tahoe. The resort features 539 rooms, 34 table games in the casino as well as 500 video slot machines. It’s the only major casino in the city of South Lake Tahoe that actually owns the land it resides on.

#5 – Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa

Montbleu has more than 400 rooms and suites, as well as a 16,000 sq. ft. flexible meeting space. The casino offers all of the usual classics including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, 3-card Poker and an array of slot and video machine games to indulge in. The hotel also has a lavish spa and fitness center for those looking for a bit of downtime. There are also multiple dining options covering many different varieties of cuisine.

Montbleu also features an escape challenge called Puzzle Room, which works as a great, fun activity for the whole family; especially the kids!

#6 – Crystal Bay Inn Casino

Crystal Bay was established in 1937 on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. It underwent several renovations and name changes over the years, just as its competitors in the area did. In 1956 it opened under Crystal Bay Club, and by 2003, it had changed owners over 3 times.

Although the establishment has always been considered a bit on the ‘cozy’ side, it houses 10 rustic rooms, each with a very intimate environment. There are plenty of options for getting a good gambling fix via multiple table games and real money slot machines. The venue also hosts exclusive music events throughout the year.

#7 – Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Casino

The Hyatt is situated in the town of Incline Village. This resort has been rated the best casino in the area of the North Shore parts of Tahoe. The Hyatt homes over 400 hotel rooms, a private beach complete with fire pits, a wellness spa and fitness center, multiple dining options. Their own Grand Lodge Casino has over 20,000 sq. ft. of gaming space, 100s of slot machines and 16 tables game variations inclusive of real money blackjack, craps, and roulette.

The resort is set to undergo renovations from April 1, 2024, which is expected to last until April 2026. It’s best to plan a visit before or after this time to ensure you get the most out of your experience, as many amenities and attraction points are likely to be inaccessible to visitors while the work is being carried out.

#8 – Boomtown Hotel & Casino

The exotic Boomtown resort is located just west of the city of Reno, a few miles outside of Tahoe. It’s still very accessible and a great place to get some rest if you’re planning to hit the slopes and mountains within the Lake area itself. Boomtown is a complete gambling haven and was rated #1 in the area for its blackjack tables and various video poker machines and slots, as well as its ultra-friendly and welcoming environment.

You’ll be able to sample their famous lobster and seafood all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s even a whole bar dedicated to sweet and tasty desserts! They have 318 hotel rooms which are just meters away from the casino itself. One of the most exciting features of this complex is the 30,000 sq. ft. Fun Center, which includes a carousel, rodeo rider, mini golf, and even a Ferris wheel! You’ll be having more fun than the kids at this rate!

#9 – Grand Sierra Resort

You’ll find the Grand Sierra Resort just 2.5 kilometers from Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Its location makes it a great hotspot for all nearby amenities. Visit Sierra Bay, Ultimate Rush Speed & Thrill Park, The National Automobile Museum, Reno Gun Range, and loads more.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll ever be short of things to do in the actual resort itself. The Grand Sierra Casino alone holds down 80,000 sq. ft. of gaming space, as well as a sportsbook. It also offers slots, poker, and blackjack tournaments, plus the opportunity to pick your keno numbers or grab a bingo ticket. There are weekly draws and rewards for the casino’s exclusive club members. You’ll also find an array of restaurants, a spa, places to shop, and lots of other awesome things to do here during your stay.

#10 – Tahoe Biltmore Lodge & Casino

Since its establishment in 1946, the Tahoe Biltmore has successfully preserved its vintage ambiance and decor in the casino, restaurant, and rooms. Notably, it has also gained a reputation for having a resident ghost named Mary, who has been haunting the place since the 1960s. The main hotel offers over 100 reasonably priced rooms and suites. Some of the rooms are pet friendly, along with a handful of cottages providing picturesque views of the lake.

The casino at the Biltmore boasts an impressive selection of entertainment, with 200-plus slot and video poker machines, table games like blackjack, roulette, and craps, as well as a sports book for sports enthusiasts. For those not interested in gambling, there are other appealing options, such as a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and an arcade.

#11 – Jim Kelly’s Tahoe Nugget

The Tahoe Nugget was established by Jim Kelley in 1962. This Lake Tahoe casino proudly holds its position as one of the oldest family-owned casinos in Nevada. Currently owned and operated by Jim and Jeff (Kelley’s sons), the two continue to uphold their father’s ethos of offering excellent food and drinks at affordable prices. Along one side of the casino, there’s a bar serving over a dozen craft beers on tap. During the summer, patrons can enjoy the outdoor burger shack with patio seating. The snack shack serves the famous Awful Awful hamburger. This delightfully large and delicious treat has been a Nugget specialty for five decades.

The casino boasts approximately 120 of the latest slot and gaming machines, along with a poker room at the back featuring a couple of tables. Unlike the larger casinos, Jim Kelley’s Tahoe Nugget maintains a down-to-earth atmosphere. This appeals to both locals and visitors seeking a friendly and inviting gaming experience.


Hopefully, that gives you a bit of an insight into gambling in Lake Tahoe. Enjoy our handy tips on what to see and do when you’re gambling in Lake Tahoe. It’s always best to plan your trips in advance and get to know what kind of options you have available in terms of accommodation and entertainment if you’re planning a trip here. But we assure you that wherever you choose to stay inside this sanctuary of serenity, you certainly won’t be disappointed!

A staff writer at Planet 7, Kate Church is an avid reader, professional writer and lover of games. After taking her Bachelor of Arts degree in English writing and a minor in journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, Kate has traveled the world, seeking out adventure, knowledge and games of skill and chance.