Okay, so there’s really no such thing as a safe bet - if there were, it wouldn’t be gambling. But you are most assuredly in luck if you’re betting on there being plenty of ways to win or lose a fortune but a poker chip’s toss from the shores of alpine Lake Tahoe, California. Edged by California to the west and Nevada to the east, visitors will find a good list of big casinos on the Nevada side, where such things are legal.
Even if you’re based over the California state line, this need not stand an impediment, particularly if you book accommodation in South Lake Tahoe, below the slopes of Heavenly Mountain Resort. Casinos in Stateline, Nevada, are so close you could practically walk, which you might have to do if you lose your cab fare on one final fling at the poker table. Here, big name casinos like Harrah’s, Harveys, Horizon and MontBleu provide a range of gambling services as well as the occasional wedding chapel - just in case you decide to work on a full house. Lakeside Inn and Casino, a “local” option in Stateline, offers weekly gaming fundamentals “classes”, with a free cocktail to help you better process the blackjack basics (they also claim to have better odds here than at the other, larger casinos).
Lake Tahoe’s north shore only has two casinos, but really, how many slot machines do you need in one night? Once the haunt of Rat Pack celebrities, Cal Neva Resort actually sits on the California-Nevada border but boasts a Nevada address, which makes it legal for them to run a casino on the premises. From here it’s only a few miles to the area’s other casino, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, also a resort hotel/casino combination - but with a private beach, a definite perk in summer. Las Vegas? Overrated. Head for Lake Tahoe, California and even if you lose your last dime, you win, savvy?