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SN&R’s Casino Guide

Gambling has had a humungous impact on human culture. The sandwich, a food with which both young and old are familiar, is said to have been invented at a card table. In the 19th century, the Earl of Sandwich was playing cribbage and didn’t want to put down his hand to get food. So he demanded that a servant bring him a slice of roast beef tucked between two pieces of bread. This way he was able to eat with one hand and play cards with the other. And around the same time, on the opposite side of the world in Japan, a gambler who was on a hot streak didn’t want to put his dice down to eat, so he asked for some rice and fish wrapped up in a piece of nori. And so was born tekka maki, one of the world’s most popular sushi rolls.

And these culinary rumors are the least of gaming’s extensive history. In truth, the sport embodies a thrill to which not many other activities can even come close. The dream of winning exorbitant amounts of money with minimum investment and physical labor (aside from some stiff slot-machine-lever arms or a sore back from sitting at a poker table for too long) is enough to convince even the most fiscally conservative individual to give it a whirl. Even some major religious traditions throughout history have allowed gambling on holy days, because it added to the merriment of special occasions. There’s just no denying it: High-risk or low, we humans love to gamble.

And Northern California is no stranger to the bug. Considering this was the home of the California gold rush in 1849, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we are home to our fair share of fortune seekers. But now, instead of having to pan in a freezing river for gold, you’re supplied with luxurious resorts in which you can win your bounty. From Cache Creek Casino in Brooks to the Feather Falls Casino in Oroville, we are aplenty with gaming getaways that welcome seasoned card veterans and itchy newcomers alike. Each business boasts a variety of games for every taste as well as divine dining establishments that will keep you energized throughout your stay. What more evidence do you need to know that gaming is alive and kicking in Northern California?

“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” That’s what Edward “Fast Eddie” Felson said in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money, anyway. And while he was a pool shark, his philosophy surely applies here. The rush of excitement a person feels when they flip over their cards to reveal a winning hand, or the sheer surprise they face when a slot machine explodes with vibrant lights and whistles, alerting them and everybody in earshot that they hit the jackpot, is second to none. It makes you feel truly alive. And even if your winnings are less than what you get paid each month, they feel so much richer.

Cover and Layout Design: Miles Harley
Contributors: Steph Armstrong, Jeff Chinn, Tinka Davi, Lance Mannion
Copy Editor: Kimberly Brown
Web: Kelsey Falle
Project Manager: Amy Nathman