At one point in history, if you wanted to play money slot machines you had to head to Las Vegas or Reno. Actually, let’s rephrase that a bit–if you wanted to play slot machines legally you had to head to Las Vegas or Reno. Those were the only gambling jurisdictions in the United States that allowed any semblance of ‘wide open gambling’. To be sure, there were places like Chicago or Stubenville, Ohio that had plenty of ‘under the table’ casino gambling but outside of the ‘Silver State’ there were few options for state-sanctioned gambling. You could find horse racing in some areas and maybe church bingo but that was it.

Things have changed dramatically. In addition to the explosive growth of online casinos, there is a greater amount of legalized gambling in the United States than at any point in history. Just about every state has a lottery and many offer some traditional casino-style gambling. There’s also native American casinos all over the country which gives players even more gambling options. The quality of games and facilities varies widely from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For that reason, it’s important to know the best places to play slot machines in the United States.

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Even with new gambling jurisdictions and casinos popping up all over the country one thing hasn’t changed–the best slot machine gambling in the United States can be found in Nevada. Sadly, Nevada is in the process of running their casino gambling industry into the ground as they tailor regulation to the whims of major casino corporations and not what is best for the state’s economy. Even so, Nevada still has some semblance of a competitive marketplace for casino gambling and that alone gives them the advantage over the rest of the country. Whether you chose to play in Southern Nevada (Las Vegas) or Northern Nevada (Reno or Lake Tahoe) you’ve got at least some options. This isn’t always the case in other areas where competition is all but prohibited by law in the interest of protecting the economic interests of a few well connected corporate entities.

So, for now, Nevada is still the best place to play slot machines. It’s reached the point where there are better options online but if you’re looking for land-based casino action it’s better in Nevada than anywhere else. That might change at some point–the Nevada gambling market is deteriorating and in the not too distant future they’ll just be one of many substandard options for the US gambling public.


It’s a fairly simple process to figure out which casino jurisdictions are best for players. The more competition that exists in a specific area the better it is for the player. Conversely, the more tightly regulated the casino industry the worse it is for players. This clearly isn’t a coincidence. In a more competitive marketplace, a casino needs to attract business and one way they can do that is by offering better odds and more player friendly rules. The customer has the leverage of taking his business elsewhere if they don’t like the way a casino operates. In a state with onerous regulation, the players have little option and even less leverage. Some states even go out of their way to regulate competition out of existence by limiting the number of casino licenses available and controlling every aspect of gaming including payout percentages and the rules.

For that reason, you’ll want to look to the most competitive gaming markets possible. In some areas, there’s a very competitive scene from Native American casinos. You’ll find this in California and to a lesser extent in New Mexico and Oklahoma. The casino market in Atlantic City has taken some hits but is still better than many places as are the riverboat casinos of Mississippi. In many jurisdictions, however, you’re significantly better off getting your gaming fix online.