The Eagle Mountain Casino is a modest sized casino located in Porterville, California, in Tulare County, a little over an hour’s drive south of Fresno at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Like all casinos in California, the Eagle Mountain Casino is Native American owned and operated, and this one is run by the Tule River Indian Tribe. The tribe has inhabited this area for thousands of years, and following the Tule River Indian War of 1856, a reservation was set up for them near the town of Porterville in 1864.
Eventually the settlers in the area demanded that the reservation be relocated, and the tribe finally settled in to their present location a few miles away. The 55,000 acre reservation houses 566 tribal members, who of late have seen newfound economic success, in large part due to their building of this casino.
The Tule Indians also own Tule River Aero Industries, a major FAA aircraft repair station, where they not only fix aircraft but sell them as well. So in addition to the casino they are expanding their operation and demonstrating true entrepreneurship.
They also own a trading post, as well as the Tule River Indian Health Center, and are quite self sufficient as a tribe.
While the Eagle Mountain Casino is located in a rural area, Porterville is part of a metro area with almost half a million people, and is also midway between Fresno and Bakersfield, and within easy driving distance from both, so this casino is strategically located to serve quite a few people in the central part of the state.
It’s not even that far from Los Angeles, about 2 ½ hours north, so there’s plenty of people indeed who can reach this casino without a lot of effort. If you’re looking for a nice getaway where you can do some gambling at the same time, many find the Eagle Mountain Casino quite tempting.
The Features of the Eagle Mountain Casino
This isn’t a resort, there’s not even a hotel here, but there are several places to stay at in the area so this really isn’t an issue, although they do get most of their traffic from the Fresno-Bakersfield region, where you can just hop in your car and spend the day there gambling.
There are some though that will come from further away and stay at one of Porterville’s hotels and motels, and the selections include a Best Western, a Holiday Inn Express, and a Motel 6. Porterville itself has a population of 55,000 so they have plenty of commercial businesses that are there to serve you beyond what they have at this casino.
The casino recently celebrated their 20th anniversary and are both well established and quite popular in the area, and their motto is that they are the best bet in Tulare County, and there’s no arguing with that, as they don’t really have any real competition in the area apart from a couple of small joints with a few gaming tables.
The casino is a little out of town so if you are here to gamble you probably aren’t going to want to go into Porterville to eat, as it’s just a lot more convenient to grab a meal on site, and the Eagle Mountain does have two restaurants in addition to a food court.
The River Steakhouse specializes in steak and seafood, and the casino here mixes in promotions with the meals here, for instance for $40 you can get a NY Steak and Lobster meal which includes $20 free play in the casino.
This not the posh steakhouse that you see at some big casinos, but they do serve some pretty nice steaks, at more affordable prices than you would pay at these high end casino steakhouses.
The most popular restaurant here though is the Forest Buffet, and the prices at this one are very reasonable for a buffet, with lunches ranging from $7.99 to $9.99 depending on the day, and dinners running from $15.99 to $18.99.
Grizzly’s Food Court offers four selections, the Hot Spot, Subs and More, Oso Loco, and the Breakfast Nook. The Hot Spot and Subs and More are open 24 hours. Yokuts Coffee House serves up coffee and smoothies as well as sandwiches.
There’s not a lot of entertainment offered here but they do have the occasional live event on hand. There’s also a gift shop on site where you can pick up some very well made Native American crafts and apparel.
The Casino at the Eagle Mountain Casino
The casino here is pretty much the whole deal, people don’t come here to stay, to relax in a spa, to see shows, or to do the other things that people do at casino resorts, they come to this place to gamble, period.
This is a casino that relies on regulars to keep the place going, so their rewards program plays a much bigger role than places that cater to tourists and occasional visitors. They need to earn your business on an ongoing basis and they are very focused on doing that.
Their Summit Club does just that, with not only generous gaming rewards but discounts on dining and events here. There are four membership levels, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond, with bigger players earning higher memberships and better rewards.
There’s a few casino promotions that run here, where they give away some extra cash, to keep their players happy. You can also sign up for their promo emails to be kept abreast of all the additional fun that goes on here.
While this casino is not the largest you’ll see in California by any means, they do have 1,400 slot machines on hand, and if you’re from here, this is the place to go to play slots for sure. There aren’t even any slot machines anywhere near here, and this is a very good selection, with a lot of machines ranging from the classic slots to the latest and greatest video slots and video poker machines.
This is mostly a slots casino, although they do have 12 gaming tables which offer several forms of Blackjack as well as Crazy 4 Poker and EZ Pai Gow. There’s also 3 poker tables here for those who like to play against other players, featuring both limit and no limit Texas Holdem, in addition to poker tournaments 4 days a week.
The Eagle Mountain Casino does cater pretty much exclusively to the people in this region of the state, but if you live in Central California or are planning on visiting the area, it does offer the best casino gaming around.