Palm Springs casinos are intricately linked to the history of the Coachella Valley. Until the 1850s California Gold Rush, this area was all land of the Cahuilla people. Today, the Agua Caliente Band remains the largest landowner in the area, with other bands, including the Morongo Band, representing a huge influence on the region. Palm Springs gambling is one of their biggest and most visible influences, as the only full casino type gambling is on Indian property.
Some of the best casinos in Palm Springs are those that are entire resorts, offering hotel accommodations and other services and facilities. Both the Agua Caliente Casino and the Morongo Casino have similar offerings and are probably the most affordable. Both of these Palm Springs casinos have vacation packages for golf enthusiasts who have come to get in some rounds on some of the area’s more than 200 golf courses, as well as honeymoon couples who may actually have had their weddings onsite. A variety of entertainment and nightlife is offered, and there are numerous dining options, recreation areas, and swimming pools. Here, as in similar properties, the Palm Springs gambling goes on 24 hours a day, offering large game floors, hundreds of slot machines, a variety of table games from blackjack to baccarat, bingo, and intimate poker rooms.
Both the Agua Caliente and Morongo also have full-service spas, and most of the best casinos in Palm Springs will also offer extensive spas. The profusion of spas in this region is also part of the history of the Coachella Valley. The Cahuilla people’s name for the region was Se-Khi, which means “boiling water.” Later, explorers from Spain called it Agua Caliente, which means “hot water” in Spanish. There are numerous mineral hot springs throughout the area that have been used therapeutically for hundreds of years, from the Salton Sea in the south to the town of Banning in the north.
Another of the similar Palm Springs casinos that are also resorts with spas is the Spa Resort Casino, set on nine acres of land on which the original mineral hot springs for which the town was named. The Agua Caliente (within one mile of the airport) and Spa Resort (within two miles of the airport) are both centrally located in the town of Palm Springs. The Morongo is located about 35 miles away in the small town of Cabazon. It is right on the main freeway, and only takes about 30 minutes by car. But it is closer to Los Angeles, making it more popular with residents of that city who want a taste of Palm Springs gambling combined with the quickest possible getaway from the city. Do not expect five-star luxury hotels when you stay at any of these. The Morongo and Agua Caliente are both rated four stars, while the Spa Resort Casino is rated between three and four stars.
As you can see, some of the best casinos in Palm Springs are not in that city at all. You can try the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino (another three to four-star hotel resort with extensive casino) in the nearby town of Indio. Even farther away, on the highway towards Escondido and San Diego, is the Pechanga Casino Resort in the town of Temecula, which has a full resort hotel in addition to an extensive recreational camping park.