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Washington State Casino Review
Which Washington State casinos are the best? Which have the loosest slots? Read on...

by Paul Diamond Blow

If you live in Washington State and are looking for a casino to gamble at, you are in luck. There are 16 Indian tribes in Washington which operate over 25 casinos. I personally have visited just a handful of these casinos (I generally stick with the casinos within a 30 mile radius of Seattle), but here I will review each casino I have gambled at. I only play slot machines, so I cannot vouch for any of the table games (cards, roulette, craps), but here I will let you know which Washington State casinos have the loosest slot machines based on my own personal experience. According to the Washington State Gambling Commission seventy-five percent of the wagers received must be paid back to customers for every game set put into play, but most casinos set the payouts much higher than this, so bear that in mind.

2023 UPDATE: After the 2020 corona virus shutdowns there have been many changes in Washington State casinos. Most do not allow smoking anymore, and gone are the buffets. Most importantly, it seems to me that the casinos have tightened up their slot machines significantly! True, they all lost vast amounts of money in 2020-2022 due to the shutdowns, and it makes sense they would tighten up their slots to make up for those losses, but I definitely do not get the BIG WINS that I used to get regularly pre-2020. Pre-2020 I used to win 2-3 jackpots a year, but have not won a single jackpot since! So bear that in mind when visiting a casino in 2023!

Tulalip Casino
The Tulalip Casino is located north of Seattle in Tulalip, WA. It is one of the nicest casinos I have visited in Washington, as well as one of the largest, with 71 table games and 2025 slot machines. The Tulalip features the newest slot machine games -- it even puts most Las Vegas casinos to shame in that department. My only beef with the Tulalip is that they feature very few "retro" games, except for Copper Dropper. Most of my favorite games have been replaced here with newer, more expensive games which have minimum bets of at least 50 cents. The Tulalip used to be my favorite casino in Washington -- mainly because it is the closest to where I live in Seattle -- but lately I have noticed that the slot machines at the Tulalip seem to be getting tighter with payouts. It is indeed a tough casino to win money at playing the slots. On a "good" night I will win 100 dollars. On a "bad" night I will lose a few hundred. That being said, if you want to try out the newest slot machine games the Tulalip is the place to go.

The Tulalip also offers the most generous rewards program in Washington State -- with a rewards card you earn one point (one penny) for every dollar you wager. I'm happy to report that the Tulalip finally installed a free coffee and soda pop station in the casino. The Tulalip gets crowded and noisy on weekend nights with the "Jersey Shore" crowd especially when they have live music playing in the show room, so the best times to go are on weeknights or on weekends after 2:00 AM. By the way, the Tulalip has the best buffet of all the casinos I've been to... the food is awesome and you should try it at least once. (2023 UPDATE: the buffet is now gone and the Tulalip is non-smoking)(Read more on the Tulalip Casino here)
★ ★ ★ Rating: 3 stars out of 5 (Nice casino, generous rewards program, but stingy slots)

Quil Ceda Creek Casino
The Quil Ceda Creek Casino and Nightclub is located in Tulalip, WA, just a mile south of the Tulalip Casino. It is the "little sister" to the Tulalip, actually, as it is also operated by the Tulalip tribe. The Quil Ceda Creek casino used to be small, dark, and a bit of a dump compared to the others, but in 2021 the Quil Ceda Creek casino was totally rebuilt in a brand new building and now features 1500 slot machines. It now resembles the Tulalip casino, but is smaller and has less of the Jersey Shore crowd on the weekends.

The Quil Ceda Creek used to be my favorite casino to play slot machines at, back when they still had my favorite slot machine game (Mega Winner II) and I used to win large amounts and came out ahead 75% of the time, but now in 2023 they have very few slot machine games that interest me and I rarely come out ahead anymore. When I do win, it's usually less than a hundred dollars. It seems to me the slot machines are much tighter than they used to be.
★ ★ Rating: 2 stars out of 5 (too small and crowded, tight machines)

Muckleshoot Casino
The Muckleshoot Casino is located in Auburn, approximately 32 miles south and east of Seattle. The Muckleshoot Casino is the largest Washington State casino I have been to by far. It is a huge, sprawling casino with 3100 slot machines and 70 table games. The downside is that most of the slot machines are older games, and as of late 2018 they haven't updated their machines much at all, like all the other Washington casinos have, and I had a hard time finding anything interesting to play on my last visit. The Muckleshoot does have the largest non-smoking section in Washington State, by far, so if you like to play the slots but hate cigarette smoke, this is the place to go.

The Muckleshoot Players Club reward card is quite stingy, earning you only 1/4 of a cent per dollar wagered. The Muckleshoot Casino also has several free soda and coffee stations located throughout the building, and another nice thing about the Muckleshoot is that the slot machines are not so cramped together like in most other casinos... there is plenty of space in between rows of machines, so if having some space around you is your thing, this is the place to play slots. In 2017 I had some good success playing slots at the Muckleshoot, but not so much in 2018 and I now rarely go there since the slot machines are old and boring compared to the other Washington State casinos.
★ ★ ★ Rating: 3 stars out of 5 (The large non-smoking section is nice, the payouts are better than average, but they need to update their old slot machines)

Quinault Beach Resort and Casino
The Quinault is located in Ocean Shores, WA, and is located right on the ocean beach, which is very nice. I go to Ocean Shores for a week each summer, and I spend at least 2-3 nights playing the slots at the Quinault. The Quinault is a rather smallish casino, with 15 table games and 437 slot machines. The slot machines are mainly older "retro" games with a few of the newest games. I have found that -- for some reason -- the slot machines seem to pay out much more generously after midnight with a "window of opportunity" of a couple hours. I have had some good nights here playing at those hours but over all the Quinault slots seem to have about average payout rates. The Quinault doesn't get too crowded on week nights, so that is the time to go. The Quinault has a couple free coffee and soda stations located in the building. The best feature of the Quinault is that if you want to take a break from gambling, the Pacific Ocean beach is right outside!
★ ★ ★ Rating: 3 stars out of 5 (mostly older slot machines, average payouts, and the ocean beach is the best part)

Clearwater Casino
The Clearwater Casino is located in Suquamish, WA (on Bainbridge Island) and is just a ferry ride away from Seattle. The Clearwater offers free shuttle service to and from the ferry dock and will even reimburse you for your ferry fare if you are a rewards club member. The Clearwater is a nice, large casino with 34 table games and 1390 slot machine games. The slot machines are a good mix of older "retro" games and the newest games, including some slot machine games that I like that cannot be found in any of the other casinos near Seattle.

The Clearwater has a few free coffee and soda stations and a small non-smoking slot machine area, but their rewards club card offers only one point (one penny) for every four dollars wagered (the stingiest rewards of all the casinos I've been to). On the plus side, they do mail me generous coupon mailers each month good for free slot machine play (between 20-40 dollars a week, for each week of the month) plus a coupon for ten dollars for food, and occasionally great deals on hotel rooms.

As of 2023, I've been going to the Clearwater Casino on average once a week (it was their generous coupon mailers that drew me in) and it has become my favorite casino near Seattle to play slot machines at. I used to always lose money here, but in the last couple years I have found that a good time to go is in the early weekday afternoons -- the games seem to pay out better at that time. I've also found that after midnight the games seem to tighten up quite a bit. I have much better success here on the slot machines than I do at any other Washington State casino, and I do love the free ferry ride and the generous coupon mailers.

2023 update: I had to remove two stars from the Clearwater Casino's rating because as of 2020 their slot machines have really tightened up. "Big wins" are much smaller, I usually lose money there now, and their coupon mailers have also gotten very stingy, offering me only five dollars a week and no more good deals on hotel rooms. Sigh, they even got rid of their buffet, which has been replaced by an expensive restaurant. The ferry ride is still free, though. They also now have a designated smoking room, which USED to be the non-smoking room, so this is the only WA State casino I know of that still allows smoking in the building.
★ ★ Rating: 2 stars out of 5 (stingy slot machines, stingy player card rewards)

Emerald Queen Casino
The Emerald Queen Casino is located in Tacoma, Washington, off I-5 near the Tacoma Dome. There is also a second Emerald Queen Casino located a bit north off I-5 in Fife. I finally checked out the Emerald Queen in Tacoma in early 2019, but I must say I was disappointed. Quite frankly, the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma seems dingy and dumpy compared to most of the other Washington State casinos I frequent, and the slot machines consist mostly of older, boring games. I saw very few of the newer games I see in the other casinos. I visited on a Saturday night around midnight, and it was super crowded in the casino and hard to find an open, interesting slot machine to play. Parking was also a hassle as the lot was completely full. I don't know if the Emerald Queen is always so crowded, but I am not inclined to go back. On the plus side, I won $100 on the first and only slot machine I did play. The Puyullup tribe currently has a new Emerald Queen casino under construction which is supposed to open in December 2019, so I may check that out once it opens. This place definitely needs an upgrade. From what I can tell from their official website, the Emerald Queen Casino in Fife seems to be better and have newer games than the Tacoma location, so if you decide to check out the Emerald Queen Casino my advice is go to the Fife location.

2023 update: I finally checked out the NEWLY REMODELED Emerald Queen Casino in 2023. It was much nicer than before, for sure, but it was also super crowded, and I lost money on pretty much all the slot machines I played. Tacoma is farther than I want to go to play slot machines, so I probably will not come back here.

★ ★ Rating: 2 stars out of 5 (large casino but super crowded, stingy slot machines)

Snoqualmie Casino
The Snoqualmie Casino is located approximately 30 miles east of Seattle in Snoqualmie, WA. The Snoqualmie is a rather large casino with 50 table games and 1700 slot machine games; the slot machines being a good mix of older "retro" games and the newest games. I've only been to the Snoqualmie Casino a few times, I usually hit it on the way back from visiting the nearby Snoqualmie Falls (which is a must see). Quite frankly I have never won money playing the slots here, although I did not spend a lot of time playing the games here so I cannot really judge how loose the payouts are other than to say they seem below average. Judging by other reviews I've read on YELP, many others seem to agree. The Snoqualmie does offer shuttle service to and from the casino in the outlying areas, but the shuttle service times are quite limited and with a ten dollar cost. Overall, I'd say the best thing about the Snoqualmie Casino is the nearby Snoqualmie Falls.

★ ★ Rating: 2 stars out of 5 (large casino but tight payouts)

This page was updated April 2023

For tips on how to find a HOT slot machine read this article: How to find the HOT slot machines in casinos

For tips on how to win a bonafide jackpot read this article: How to Win a JACKPOT on Casino Slot Machines

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