Think that casinos are disgusting smoke-filled holes sheltering nothing but lonely senior citizens pouring their Social Security into slot machines? Not in Tahoe! On the South Shore, just over the state line, the various casinos beckon to a young crowd looking for a lively, hip night out.
The gaming floor of the MontBleu Casino (55 Hwy. 50, Stateline, NV, 888/829-7630, www.montbleuresort.com) is great fun on weekend evenings, with its go-go dancers and youthful gamblers taking the free drinks as they hammer the slots and place bets on the tables. Since it (and all the other casinos listed here) are in Nevada, you’ll find all the full-fledged table games of a Vegas casino: craps, roulette, blackjack, and Texas Hold ’Em, among others.
“The Zone” contains the sports book and the poker room. And as with most casinos, the slots and video poker machines are everywhere. MontBleu’s casino is better lit and less smoky than many, making it easy to stay and play late into the night. Or if you get tired of tossing your money away, wander around and you’ll find a lingerie shop, an art gallery, and a hip nightclub.
Gambling fans should definitely bring their frequent-player cards to the casino floor at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe (15 Hwy. 50, Stateline, NV, 800/427-7247, www.harrahs.com). They’ve got all the Vegas gaming favorites, like classic craps, Rapid Roulette, and of course Keno pads and monitors scattered all over the place. The atmosphere is a bit more “classic casino” here, with fairly dim lights in the evenings and a warren of slot machines that make it easy to get lost and keep on spending money.
Now that Harrah’s has absorbed former neighbor Harvey’s, it’s got a solid lock on its block. Once you’re done with gaming, check out the live entertainment or the locally popular nightclub.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition