Saturday, March 3, 2012

Arguably The Worst Casino In Las Vegas, The Eureka Is A Dismal Spot For Locals!

Eureka Casino Hotel
The Good: Well, we won money there. . .
The Bad: Atmosphere, “Atmosphere,” Staff, Game selection, Everything!
The Basics: Hands down the worst casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and the worst casino I have ever been in.

Last year when I went to Las Vegas, I had what I thought would be the most unpleasant experience I could have at a casino at the Hard Rock Café Casino. That was the only place I went where the patrons were drinking themselves to the point of throwing up on the floors (literally, very gross) and there was nothing I could find redeeming about it. However, this year, when my partner and I went to Las Vegas, we discovered a new bottom of the barrel in the Eureka Casino. The Eureka Casino, despite what its name might imply, is not a thrilling place to gamble. Instead, it is unclean, the workers are unhelpful and my partner and I got ahead quickly and got out.

Despite winning at the casino, we both swore to one another we would never return and we look forward to making good on that promise the rest of our lives. If you've never been, fortunately you may avoid the Eureka without feeling like you are missing out on any essential Las Vegas experience!

Eureka Casino: came in with $5.00, left with $20.00. Fast.


The Eureka is a tiny casino located at 595 Sahara Ave in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the section of Las Vegas off the Strip. In fact, Sahara Avenue is perpendicular to the top of the Strip near the Stratosphere and Sahara casinos. Unfortunately, this is in a more urban part of the city where urban decay is very much the state of things. The Eureka Casino is situated between abandoned storefronts and brick buildings covered in graffiti. My partner and I arrived on a Saturday night and felt queasy about leaving our car in the parking lot out back.

The Eureka Casino is right off Sahara Avenue and looks like a little restaurant with about seventy-five parking spots in the back.


The Eureka Casino is a tiny casino in Las Vegas, guarded at the front and back by a single security guard each who looks bored. My partner is fairly young-looking and while she was checked out, she was not carded getting into the Eureka. The Eureka is decorated like a hotel lobby and feels like an abandoned bus station. There are only about five hundred video slot machines in the building on a single level. The place looks like a family restaurant from the outside and the backside of Jabba's Palace on the inside. The entire gaming floor is in one room and it feels cramped.

The ceilings are low and this was the smokiest casino I have ever been in. We stayed for less than half an hour and by the time we walked out, not only were my clothes saturated with a noxious tobacco smell (and my shorts were sticky in back . . . gross!) but my throat was dry and raw from the concentration of cigarette smoke. My partner is an ex-smoker and when we left, she made the comment that it is places like the Eureka that are likely to keep her from ever going back.

As for the "atmosphere" of the Eureka, there is none. I don't recall seeing any servers (there was a bar within the casino). The cage workers were wearing sweatshirts and smoking, the casino had no hook, no gimmick. In fact, more than any other place we went, the people playing the slot machines looked zombified and miserable. No one appeared to be having a good time. Instead, this seemed like a gambler's graveyard and a home of lost souls and a place oxygen goes to die.

Gaming Options/Player's Club

I have a very simple gambling philosophy: I sit down at a slot machine with $5.00. I work it up to $10 or down to zero. I know my limits: I can afford to lose $5.00. So, when I am above that, I'll usually work it up or whittle it down to the next even $5.00. I had a tough time even bothering with my philosophy at the Eureka, because I wanted to get out of it so quickly. I gave my $5.00 to my partner and she sat down at "I Dream Of Jeannie" and turned it into $20 and we left as soon as we could.

The Eureka is plagued by old machines. While the bulk of them were penny slots, few were distinctive and none were new. This casino had the older model of "I Dream Of Jeannie," "Wheel Of Fortune" and games like Stinkin' Rich, Crystal Enchantment (a personal favorite that was not paying out for me that night!) and Texas Tea. There were only two or three of each machine and the room was organized in a buckshot approach with the outer walls lined with video slot machines and then islands of machines haphazardly strewn throughout the casino.

For those who might be into games of chance and card games instead of the fun and controlled reinforcement of video slot machines, you're out of luck at the Eureka. The Eureka Casino is video slot machines only.

There is a player's club at the Eureka, but we were not able to join it. Seriously. My partner and I went to the cage to sign up and were told that unless we were a local and would be back within a month, there was no reason to sign up. They wouldn't even let us sign up for the novelty of it. The Eureka, apparently, offers incentives only to locals or those who will return to this dive within a month.

Entertainment Options

The Eureka Casino has no room for any entertainment, though there are televisions above the bar.

Dining Options

We went to the Eureka Casino after eating our nightly buffet, but considering how everything in the casino seemed to be coated with a sticky film (I used hand sanitizer for several minutes after returning to the car!) we weren't about to eat or drink anything here. There was a bar island in the casino and we were told there were dining options, but we did not see anyone eating. Several people were drinking, though we did not.

Shopping Options

The Eureka has no shopping options.


Small, dismal, smoky and sticky, the Eureka Casino was the most unpleasant place I went in Las Vegas and one of the few places on Earth I would never want to return to again. Avoid it as if your health depends upon it!

For other casino reviews, please check out my takes on:
Mystic Lake Casino
Mount Airy Casino
Palace Station Casino


For other destinations to visit, be sure to check out my Travel Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the places I have reviewed!

© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
Eureka Casino Hotel

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