Forget Vegas, There Are Great Casinos in LA
Some of the best casinos not in Vegas are found in LA. Let’s delve into the top casinos in Los Angeles and look at what each of them offers.
The Bicycle Hotel and Casino
Located in Bell Gardens and known as "The Bike," the Bicycle Hotel and Casino has seen some major upgrades since it first opened its doors in 1984, with opulence standing in contrast to its working-class neighborhood. The Bike is a host of the World Poker Tour and you may have seen the spot featured on the TV series Numb3rs.
- The Games. Asian games are popular at The Bike, which was the first brick-and-mortar casino to stream online cash poker games with top poker pros through their ongoing Live at the Bike series. Games for visitors to the casino include Pai Gow Poker, Mexican Poker, Texas Hold 'Em, and good old Blackjack.
- The Entertainment. Fight Night at The Bike welcomes UFC fighters to battle in championship bouts. They also host a weekly Joker's Wild Comedy Show and regular live music concerts.
- The Amenities. Enjoy a pint at The Bike Brewery, Asian-inspired cuisine at the Phoenix Café, plus a trio of cocktail lounges. A seven-story hotel has a luxury spa and an outdoor pool deck with private cabanas.
Hollywood Park Casino
While the racetrack that gave Hollywood Park Casino its name is long gone, replaced by the SoFi Stadium, the art-deco-style casino close to LAX is still rolling. Now part of an in-progress 300-acre sports and entertainment complex. Beyond card games, the casino that opened in 1994 has off-track betting with big screens running horse races from Australia and all across North America.
- The Games. Around 125 tables host games of No Bust Blackjack, Pan-9, Party Craps, and Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em, as well as Pai Gow Tiles and Baccarat. There are also instructional tables for each game to learn the rules before you get into any big betting.
- The Entertainment. Devo and Black Pumas will be among the inaugural acts to perform at the Performance Venue at Hollywood Park, an indoor concert space with 6,000 seats.
- The Amenities. On track for completion in Spring 2022, the Hollywood Park complex will have a host of restaurants, shops, a massive cineplex, and outdoor recreation areas galore.
Founded by the late magazine publisher Larry Flynt, the Hustler Casino in Gardena bills itself as "LA's only luxury casino." While that boast may be up for debate, the casino is a luxe option for card games. With a few of Hustler's signature scantily clad dealers.
- The Games. Flynt often billed the place as having “the biggest seven-card stud game in the world." Plus, you'll find Mississippi Stud Poker, Big O (Omaha) Poker, and No Bust Blackjack among the card games.
- The Entertainment. There's live music on the weekends.
- The Amenities. As it is the flagship site of nudie magazine, some of the eyebrow-raising art isn't suitable for the more prudish among us. But Larry Flynt’s Bar and Grill is an upscale eatery that's not overwhelmed by showings of flesh.
While it may lack the glitz of other LA-area casinos, the Commerce Casino makes up for it with sheer size; there are nearly 250 tables in one of the country's biggest card rooms. Open 24 hours a day.
- The Games. There are about a dozen games for poker players including Texas Hold'em, Seven-Card Stud, Razz, Badugi, and Omaha Hi/Lo, plus 21st Century Blackjack Switch, Let It Ride, and EZ Baccarat.
- The Entertainment. The large restaurant spaces regularly host pro wrestling, boxing, and MMA events.
- The Amenities. Set inside a Crowne Plaza hotel, there's the full-service Meridian Day Spa, the Arena Sports Bar and Grill just off the casino floor, and the 323 Bistro for international cuisine.
The Gardens Casino
With nearly as many tables as the Commerce Casino, The Gardens Casino has around 225 poker tables at its location in the Hawaiian Gardens neighborhood, and thus it’s also called The Hawaiian Gardens Casino.
- The Games. Poker games that go 24-hours a day include Joker's Wild Pai Gow Poker, Blackjack Poker, and Three Card Poker.
- The Entertainment. The Gardens regularly holds boxing nights and MMA events.
- The Amenities. The Triple 7 Sports Bar and Grill serves everything from Italian and Mexican to Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, along with a wide selection of California craft beers.
With decks shuffled and chips stacked, LA casinos are welcoming gamblers right now. Will you be trying your luck anytime soon?Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.