There are options for slots players visiting Nevada besides Las Vegas and Reno. In fact, many of the smaller towns in the ‘Silver State’ offer excellent gaming and a much friendlier, laid-back environment. Some of the smaller towns in Northern Nevada have casinos that feel like they’re out of a time machine. At the same time, you can find just about every modern amenity in gaming or hospitality that you’d expect from a decent property. You’re not going to find world-class shopping or nightclubs filled with celebrities but there are a number of people that would argue that’s a benefit of the smaller Northern Nevada casino towns and not a downside.

In Northern Nevada, you’ll find two types of ‘small town’ casino experiences. One is the ‘border town’ that exists more or less exclusively to serve a nearby metro area without gambling. Wendover, Nevada–just two hours West of Salt Lake City, Utah and just over the border–is the perfect example of this type of town. The other type is a more autonomous small town that is ‘self-sustaining’ and doesn’t exist just to provide gaming to commuters. Carson City and Elko would be included in this category.


Wendover, Nevada is about as ‘off the beaten path’ as you’ll find. While it’s on the way to Reno and Lake Tahoe from ‘points East’ most visitors live in the Salt Lake City Metro area which–surprise, surprise–doesn’t allow casino gambling. A quick two hour trip across the Bonneville Salt Flats and some of the most beautiful mountain scenery imaginable will get you to Wendover and it’s half-dozen or so casinos. There are a couple of smaller properties like the Red Garter but for real slot machine excitement, there’s really only one option.

For slot machine play you’ll want to head to the three casinos that promote themselves under the ‘Resorts at Wendover’ banner. These casinos–the Peppermill, Rainbow and Montego Bay–will be the most like a casino in Las Vegas or Reno. They’ll have all of the latest slots including the big progressives in all denominations. They’ll also have sports betting, bars, nightclubs and dining in abundance.


Nevada’s state capital of Carson City and Winnemucca also offer a small town experience with casino gambling we’re partial to Elko which is located just over 100 miles West of Wendover. Elko is a small but very livable mountain community that is starting to be discovered by outdoor enthusiasts sick of the traffic and high prices of Northern California. You’ll find five or six casinos with several offering a decent slot machine experience. Our choice, however, is the venerable Stockman’s Hotel and Casino. This was the first major hotel/casino in Elko and still one of the best. You’ll find plenty of slot machines and video poker machines both fixed jackpot and progressive. The Stockmans’ buffet is also the best in town for when you get hungry.

One Northern Nevada casino does deserve special attention–head over to Carson City and you’ll find one of the best small casino experiences in the world. The Carson City Nugget features a surprisingly good array of table games with some decent blackjack rules, good food and a rarity in the casino world–actual ‘coin in’ slot machines and video poker! No bill receptors here as you relive the casino experience of days past with buckets of quarters and the sound of coins hitting the hopper when you hit a jackpot. It’s a rare experience in today’s increasingly high tech gambling industry.