What you need to know about the area’s 10 casinos

Valley View Casino & Hotel renovated last year.
Valley View Casino & Hotel completed a $50 million expansion and renovation last year.
(Courtesy photo)

All area casinos are open for gambling and dining


Though the pandemic has curtailed certain activities and amenities, the San Diego-region’s 10 casinos are open for gambling and dining. Many of the numbers cited here reflect normal operations. Currently, casinos are operating at less-than-full capacity due to health and safety measures. Call ahead for up-to-date details.

Barona Resort & Casino

For the record:

3:17 p.m. May 10, 2022An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the number of slot machines at Valley View Casino. It is 1,900.

1932 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside. (619) 443-2300.

The deal: This full-scale casino resort has a casino floor with 2,500 slot machines and 115 table games and a total of 340,727 square feet of gaming space. Convenient options are the Barona Coffee Company for pastries, fresh cinnamon buns, sandwiches and salads; Barona’s Homemade Soup outlet for six varieties of eat-in or take-out soup; and the Creamery, serving premium ice cream, soft serve, shakes and sundaes. Amenities currently closed due to the pandemic: Barona Oaks Steakhouse and the buffet, day spa and gift shop.

Golden Acorn Casino

1800 Golden Acorn Way, Campo. (866) 794-6244.

The deal: A respite for the road-weary on Interstate 8 at Exit 61, Golden Acorn is a compact-size casino with a Travel Center and dining venues. The casino floor features 700 slot machines. The Golden Grill has re-introduced the $7.77 Prime Rib Special. Golden Acorn’s 24/7, 3,000-square-foot Travel Center and rest stop offers clean showers and restrooms, laundry facilities, a TV lounge and Wi-Fi and other amenities. Look for holiday gas price specials.

Harrah’s Resort Southern California

777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center. (760) 751-3100.

The deal: Harrah’s is a full-service casino resort with a hotel, luxury pool complex, a wellness spa and multiple dining venues. Gaming options include 1,700 slots and 60 table games. The hotel offers 1,087 rooms and suites; steps away is the first tribal-owned craft brewery, Rincon Reservation Road Brewery. The pool complex known as Dive features three pools, eight hot tubs, Southern California’s first swim-up bar, a 400-foot lazy river and 23 cabanas. The luxurious 11,000-square-foot spa features a full-service salon and a hip barbershop. A Topgolf Swing Suite can be rented so players can practice their skills at golf, baseball, football, hockey and more.

Jamul Casino

14145 Campo Road, Jamul. (619) 315-2250.

The deal: Located 20 miles from downtown San Diego, the casino has 1,650 slot machines, 39 table games and seven dining venues. Jamul Casino also has a 10-table poker room that features full bar service, weekly poker tournaments and big-money special events. Prime Cut, the fine-dining steakhouse, has expansive mountain views and offers an all-day Sunday lobster brunch for $50. Loft 94: Yakitori | Noodle | Craft, which features craft beers on 48 taps and has an outdoor patio, serves yakitori grill and Asian noodle specialties. A sizable collection of baseball memorabilia is housed at Tony Gwynn’s Sports Pub, which also features three nightly “Endless Dining” experiences.

Pala Casino Spa & Resort

11154 Highway 76, Pala. (877) 946-7252.

The deal: This full-scale casino resort offers a 507-room/suite hotel, multiple restaurants and a deluxe spa. The casino floor has more than 2,000 slot and video poker machines, 80-plus table games, a nine-table, non-smoking Asian Gaming Room and an expanded non-smoking area. Highlights among the 10 eateries are Bar Meets Grill restaurant, Noodles Asian and the Luis Rey’s Sports Bar, which televises sporting events on multiple TVs, including a 14-foot Jumbotron.

Casino Pauma

777 Pauma Reservation Road, Pauma Valley. (760) 742-2177.

The deal: Pauma is a 35,000-square-foot casino with dining venues. Gaming options include more than 1,000 slot machines and 19 table games, including $3 blackjack. Dining choices are a cafe with an all-day menu and the 24/7 Casino Pauma Deli and Pizzeria. Drinks are served at the Triple Seven Bar as well as the Red Parrot Lounge. The covered Pauma Pavilion, with 1,100 seats, looks forward to returning to year-round entertainment with its state-of-the-art sound system. The Pavilion showcases entertainment from Latin Nights to rock concerts.

Pechanga Resort Casino

45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula. (877) 711-2946.

The deal: This mega casino resort with a AAA Four Diamond hotel has a two-story spa, golf course, designer boutiques, an event center, theater, comedy club and 20 restaurants and bars. Pechanga has the status of being the largest casino resort on the West Coast. The casino floor clocks in at a massive 200,000 square feet. When at capacity, the hotel has 1,090 hotel rooms and suites.

Sycuan Casino Resort

5469 Casino Way, El Cajon. (619) 445-6002.

The deal: Sycuan added a $260-million resort to its casino in 2019. A 12-story luxury hotel tower has 302 rooms, including 57 suites. Retreat Pool & Cabanas has two pools, including an adult pool with a swim-up bar and a lazy river. The resort includes a full-service day spa, Spa Ritual, and a new fitness facility. The casino floor has been expanded by 60,000 square feet and houses a total of 2,300 slots and 56 table games. The indoor/outdoor Viewpoint Neighborhood Kitchen eatery recently opened. There are plans for a new events center to host headlining acts. The unCommons food court features popular local eateries Phil’s BBQ, Hodad’s and Lucha Libre.

Valley View Casino & Hotel

16300 Nyemii Pass Road, Valley Center. (760) 291-500.

The deal: With a $50 million, 43,000-square-foot expansion and renovation project completed in 2019, Valley View now features 143,000 square feet of casino, restaurant and lounge space. A boutique resort hotel offers 108 spacious rooms. The entire casino, expansive non-smoking areas and restaurants were recently renovated. Valley View has 1,400 slot machines, 20 table games and 11 restaurants and bars. Their newest restaurant and lounge, Patties & Pints offers gourmet burgers, pizzas, shakes and 16 beers on tap.

Viejas Casino & Resort

5000 Willows Road, Alpine. (619) 445-5400.

The deal: Viejas is the recipient of the AAA Four Diamond award. This full-scale casino resort, with two hotels — the Viejas Hotel and the luxurious, all-suites, adults-only Willows Hotel & Spa — includes an entertainment complex and an outlet shopping center with bowling, a skating rink and a virtual reality arcade. The casino floor includes more than 2,500 slot machines, eight different kinds of table games, an off-track betting lounge and a bingo and slot parlor. The luxury spa has its own saltwater spa pool, garden, salt sauna, a hair and nail salon and 24-hour fitness center. Notable restaurants include The Grove Steakhouse and the new Baron Long Bar & Grill.