Marty Derbyshire san manuel casino

Highland’s San Manuel Casino has been named the best California casino in a readers’ poll conducted by a leading gaming magazine.

Tens of thousands of ballots were cast for all 24 Southern California Indian casinos in the online poll, which was conducted throughout August on the trade magazine’s TheGamingGuide website. An independent source tallied the results in September, and they were released in the October issue of Southern California Gaming Guide.

Only one vote per person was allowed. As an incentive, voters were entered into a random drawing for cash prizes. In fact, prizes included a $1,000 grand prize, $500 early bird prize, and 10 runner-up prizes of $100 each. The prize winners were announced alongside the results of the readers’ poll.

From Best Casino to Best Buffet

In all, there were 17 different voting categories. These included Best Casino, Best Buffet, Best Entertainment, and Best Golf Course.

San Manuel took the top spot in the Best Casino category.

The property has owned and operated by the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians since 1986. Just 60 minutes outside of Los Angeles, San Manuel is among the largest casinos in California, with more than 3,400 slots and 125 table games.

Other major gaming category winners included:

  • Barona Resort & Casino for Best Casino Resort
  • Sycuan Casino for Luckiest Casino; and
  • Valley View Casino & Hotel for Loosest Slots Casino

Barona Resort & Casino is in Lakeside just outside of San Diego. The resort includes luxurious rooms, a day spa, golf course, and casino gaming. The casino itself features more than a dozen different table games and 2,000 slots and video poker machines.

The Loosest Slots

Sycuan Casino also placed third in the Loosest Slots Casino category. Sycuan is in El Cajon, just outside of San Diego. The casino features more than 2,000 slots and 40 table games.

This marked the second consecutive year Sycuan was voted Luckiest Casino, and the casino reacted by issuing its own press release.

“It is an honor to be voted Luckiest Casino in the 2017 Reader’s Choice Best Casinos awards,” said General Manager John Dinius in the release. “We are committed to creating a fun gaming environment to ensure that our guests always have a great time at Sycuan Casino.”

Valley View Casino & Hotel placed second in the Luckiest category. The property is in Valley Center, also just outside San Diego, and boasts 90,000 square feet of gaming, upwards of 2,000 slot machines, and more than 20 table games.

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Marty Derbyshire
Marty Derbyshire - Martin Derbyshire is a veteran of the world of poker and gambling, having worked as a reporter, producer, and editor in the industry for more than a decade. He has traveled the globe interviewing high-profile personalities and contributes to a number of publications, including,, and