The Ultimate Guide to Casino Camping in the United States
Casino camping is one of the most versatile types of camping in the United States. Those who have taken advantage of casino camping on their travels are likely nodding in agreement and those who haven’t may be intrigued or, perhaps, disbelieving.
Whether you have ever rolled a single camper-wheel into a casino’s big parking lot or not, this guide is for you.
Casino-style gambling is heavily regulated in the United States. While the states of Nevada and Louisiana allow casinos statewide, other states restrict this type of gambling to small geographic areas or ban the practice altogether. Casinos can also be found on some Native American lands throughout the United States, as these areas fall under tribal sovereignty.
Because of this, some states—like California, Nevada, Michigan, Washington, and Arizona—are flush with casino camping, and other areas have slim pickings. Where you can find it, casino camping can be a great way to break up a long drive, sometimes spend the night for free, and get in a little time at the poker table or all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet (if that’s your thing).
About Casino Camping
Many, but certainly not all, casinos in the United States offer overnight RV and trailer parking in their lots. Casinos sometimes offer this type of overnight parking for free, and sometimes they charge a small fee. You can expect the experience to be similar to staying in a Walmart parking lot: it will be well lit, sometimes crowded and a bit noisy, and there is the expectation that you will not treat the parking spot like a campsite (no chairs, no grills, etc).
Your first stop when arriving at a casino parking lot—even if others on Campendium have reported that is open for camping—should be at the casino welcome desk to ask for permission to stay. They may say a quick yes, or they may direct you to the security office to register your vehicle and be informed of the rules and limits of stay. Some casinos will require you to get a player’s card. Don’t forget to check in: casino security will not hesitate to ask you to leave if you don’t have permission to be there.
In return for providing free or low-cost overnight parking in their lot, casinos do expect you to utilize their services. If you don’t gamble, you might consider grabbing a beer in their bar or eating a meal on-site.
Some casinos have gone “all-in” and built full-service campgrounds at their casinos. Because they are a commercial endeavor that ties into a casino experience, they are often clean, well-kept campgrounds with full hookups that can edge toward the “RV resort” side of the spectrum. Staying at a casino campground sometimes means you get player perks (like if you were staying at the casino hotel), access to amenities like pools and exercise rooms, and shuttle buses to and from the casino.
Casino Camping in California
Casino Camping in Nevada
Casino Camping in Michigan
Casino Camping in Washington
Casino Camping in Arizona
Casino Camping in New Mexico
Casino Camping in Oregon
Why Stay at a Casino?
There are a few reasons that you might choose a casino—whether it’s their parking lot or a campground—over other options.
First, casino parking lots can sometimes feel more secure than other free overnight parking options. Most casinos, especially the larger ones, run 24-hour security that keeps an eye on both the interior and exterior of their property. Constant security keeps the rabble-rousers under control and might make you sleep a bit sounder at night.
Second, casinos camping can be found in places where it’s hard to find great camping otherwise. For example, there are a handful of casinos that allow overnight parking or have campgrounds on the northern California coast and near cities in the midwest…two sometimes tricky areas to find low-cost, safe camping options.
Third, casinos can be a fun place to stay, especially if you like to try your hand at the slots or at the gaming table. Many casinos also have live entertainment like musicians, comedians, and other shows. There’s no quicker path between the casino and your bed than when you’re staying on-site. Talk about convenient, right?
Whether you’re looking for an easy place to spend the night or you plan your vacation around the best slots in the United States, casino camping has a little something for everyone.