The Fresno area, like all major population centers in California, is home to several casinos, and for a state that does not issue casino licenses and only permits card games, there sure are a lot of casinos here.
All of California’s many casinos are operated by Indian tribes, as they are the only people permitted to offer casino gaming in the state. The state would actually prefer no one offer casino gambling here, but the courts have found that they can’t really prevent the native people here from building and operating gambling establishments, and given the large appetite of Californians for gambling, it is big business indeed.
The Table Mountain Rencheria, or reservation, lies just to the east of Friant, California, just outside of the city of Fresno and its one million residents. You might think that this reservation would be too small to run anything, with a total of only 11 Indians living on it, but that’s plenty of space to build and run a casino, and there is one on their reservation, a good sized one indeed.
So following the philosophy of if you build it they will come, they built it, and the people came, and have kept coming. In spite of the fact that there are casinos closer to the population base here, people don’t mind the short drive out here, and this is pristine country, a real getaway from the city in addition to the excitement of betting money and winning.
The Table Mountain tribe was almost wiped out at one time by soldiers in an act of genocide, but in spite of their very small number nowadays they are emerging victorious all these years later, having now torn down their shacks for the lavish lifestyle that operating the second most profitable casino in California has brought.
Long gone are the days when the people here suffered without adequate health and dental care, they now have state of the art facilities right on the reservation for the tribe and their 985 employees. Instead of seeing their children getting inadequate education, they now have private tutors.
So all this success has sure transformed this very small reservation in the Central Valley, but it’s also brought a lot of delight to the players in the area, and also helped heal some of the pain among the natives whose time has finally come to stand up and shine.
The Amenities of the Table Mountain Casino
There are only three restaurants on site, a small number for a casino of this size, and this is indeed a very good sized casino, but what they do have here in terms of dining is of high quality.
Casino goers love buffets, and the Mountain Feast Buffet certainly offers a lot of feasting, all you can handle. They bill it as like taking a trip around the world and feature both American and International stations.
The prices are very reasonable as well, provided you use your players club card, with lunch costing $11.99 and dinner running you only $12.99. Seniors can get lunch daily for only $9. On Fridays you can get all you can eat lobster for $24.99 for lunch and $29.99 for dinner.
No one comes out this way who isn’t looking to gamble though, and the player’s club membership is free, so there’s no reason for anyone not to have one.
The Eagles Landing restaurant claims that they will make your taste buds soar like an eagle, at very reasonable prices as well. Everything here is made fresh to order and you can get a prime rib dinner for only $9.95. They are open from 6 AM to midnight through the week and 24 hours on the weekend.
The TM Café never closes, and is ready when you are to serve up homemade sandwiches, pizza, burgers, and hot dogs, as well as milkshakes, pastries, and specialty coffees.
There’s not a lot as far as entertainment goes here, aside from the casino action that is, although they do bring in some live acts and some fairly big ones as well.
The tribe also owns a golf course, the Eagle Springs Golf and Country Club, which happens to be right across the street from the casino, so golf lovers can enjoy their favorite game without even having to drive to a golf course.
The Casino at Table Mountain Casino
The casino here is of course the main attraction, there’s no hotel here at all, but this place is within easy driving distance of so many people that they don’t need one. People come here to spend the day and enjoy all of the casino games on hand.
Table Mountain Casino is considered the best casino in the area, not surprising since it’s the second most popular one in the state. They have won the People’s Choice Award for best casino in the Fresno area by readers of the Fresno Bee.
It certainly pays to pick up your free membership in The Club at Table Mountain Casino, where you’ll enjoy special dining rates, and discounts on entertainment here, as well as free play at both the slot and table games.
The 2,000 slot and video poker machines on hand, the maximum allowed under the pact between the Indian tribes and the state, offer endless fun and excitement. There’s plenty of casinos in California that have 2,000 slots, but the fact that so many prefer this casino tells you that the experience that they provide their players is a very good one.
You can play the slots here for as little as a penny, right on up to their high limit slots, and they feature the hottest slots out there today.
Their table games feature a good variety of games to bet on, with the friendliest of dealers. There are 40 gaming tables here, with games such as $1 Blackjack, Double Deck Blackjack, Blackjack with Lucky Lady, Free Bet Blackjack, Spanish 21, Fortune Pai Gow, Mini Baccarat, Mystery Card Roulette, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Holdem, Casino War, Mystery Card Bonanza, and Crazy 4 Poker.
Speaking of poker, there’s also a 10 table dedicated poker room where you can play some real poker against real players and not just the house if you’re up for that. There’s always lots of action here including several poker tournaments a day.
Table Mountain also has a 700 seat Bingo hall, where players have been enjoying bingo for over a quarter of a century. There’s lots of specials including a chance to win a quarter of a million dollars just by hitting bingo.
Table Mountain Casino might just be a casino, but it’s a very good one, and easily the best casino in the Fresno area, and one of the best in the state as well.