Canadians are among the most prolific bettors in the world, and that includes players in Manitoba. Whether you live there or are just visiting, there are some great casinos at which to try your hand at cards or spin the reels. Here are five of the best Manitoba casinos.
We begin our list of the best land-based casinos in the province of Manitoba with Assiniboia Downs, a horse racing venue on the western fringe of Winnipeg, the provincial capital. If you fancy you can tell a thoroughbred from a nag then the Assiniboia Downs racebook offers the chance to bet on live racing from all across North America, so there'll always be something to keep you entertained (and enriched, if you're lucky). Keen players may also want to take advantage of the special events regularly held at this Manitoba Casino, with prizes for being the best tipster including hundreds or thousands of dollars and tickets to Las Vegas. In addition to the horse racing, bettors can try their hand at the 60 VLTs (video lottery terminals) within the facility, with exciting casino games including Big City 5's, Smash The Pig, and Black Widow.
Live racing is held thrice weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and there's nowhere better to watch than the Terrace Dining Room. Or you can take your pick of delicious dishes at the Club West Lounge. Steaks, prime ribs, and plenty of refreshing beverages, including cocktails and wine, are on the menu. Beyond the door of Assiniboia Downs, golfers are spoilt for choice with several courses within easy reach (the public Tuxedo Golf Club, and private courses Glendale Golf & Country Club and the St Charles Country Club). If you take the Mark Twain view of golf then there's plenty of scope for a pleasant walk in the Assiniboine Forest (which is dog-friendly). Keep heading east and you'll soon enter the centre of Winnipeg, which is replete with fantastic museums, art galleries, and the shops and restaurants of The Forks.
Next on our list of top Manitoba casinos is the Sand Hills Casino, which has hundreds of slots to play with a wide variety of themes and gameplay mechanics to suit a range of different betting tastes. Better yet, this land-based betting establishment makes it free to become a Gold Club member. Members benefit from earning points as they play, with points redeemable for real cash back. If old school favourites are more your thing then the Sand Hills Casino has you covered with several classic games. Card sharks can take their pick from blackjack, easy to learn but hard to master, and Texas Hold'em, the most popular poker variant in the world today and ideal for devious sorts to bluff their way to wins. Roulette is another top table game that has been around for donkey's years and remains a favourite with players to this day.
When your stomach's grumbling that the time for gaming's over, the Oasis Bar and Grill is ready and waiting with a menu of dishes including burgers, chili, salad, and even sliced prime rib and Yorkshire Pudding. If you happen to be a Gold Club member then a 10% discount is available too. There are also plenty of distractions in the vicinity of this land-based Manitoba casino, such as taking some of the best souvenir pics alongside the unique Sara the Camel, to the south. Manitoba is famous for its beautiful landscape and north of the casino is Riding Mountain National Park. Pretty as a picture, this national park features hiking trails for some light exercise and a lake with recreational opportunities for those who love messing about on the water. Plus, there are beaches, golf courses, and restaurants nearby.
Close to the heart of the capital, McPhillips Station Casino is one of the best land-based casinos in the province of Manitoba for those who like to combine gaming with great tourist destinations within easy reach. Head southwest to find Assiniboine Park, which has a number of great attractions, including a public golf course. Players with four-legged friends can also take advantage of the dog-friendly Assiniboine Forest, which has plenty of trails to get some light exercise whether you prefer hiking or biking. And there are exotic residents from around the world at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, a wildlife centre that has been going strong for over a century. Meanwhile, the city centre is home to multiple great museums, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Manitoba Museum, and Winnipeg Art Gallery.
There are around 1,200 gaming machines on the casino floor at McPhillips Station, with the majority of these coming in the form of slots. The $1 Million Powerbucks progressive will appeal to big game hunters who dream of winning life-changing sums of money, but there are also plenty of more modest games, with both video slots and reel slots present in abundance. Keno and electronic bingo are also accessible, and video poker is a popular new game category that combines the best features of slots and poker. Electronic table games are also on the table, or you can play via the PlayNow website. And bingo fans who prefer to play in person can do that too, offering a wide variety of different betting opportunities. To celebrate a win or cheer yourself up after a loss, enjoy the à la carte menu of Loft 180 on the second level. Or you can refresh yourself with snacks and drinks at one of the two Floor Bars.
South Beach Casino & Resort is a land-based betting establishment and hotel located to the north of Manitoba's capital, close to Lake Winnipeg. This pleasant rural setting is a relaxing place to play, and while you won't find a Canadian no deposit bonus, visitors have more than 500 slot machines to spin and win. In addition, Ocean Club members earn points as they play which can then be turned into cashback. The slots are provided by a range of different firms, including IGT, Aristocrat, AGS, Scientific Games, and Konami, so whatever your preferred playstyle or theme you should be able to find that which you seek. And jackpots are always a possibility, with wins in the thousands or tens of thousands eminently possible.
Guests can dine in or have a takeaway from the resort's on-site restaurant Mango's, or you can feast your eyes on sports while eating at Blue Dolphin. But if you're after a caffeine fix or a quick chat over coffee then the South Beach Café is just the ticket. If you want to enjoy the wonderful fresh air and beautiful views of Manitoba, the casino has plenty within easy reach. Just head north and you'll soon come to the Patricia Beach Provincial Park, a realm of white sands, clean water, and pleasant scenery. Another wilderness option, a little further off, is to the southeast: Whiteshell Provincial Park. It's a picturesque place of forests and lakes with hiking trails aplenty where you can stretch your legs in the great outdoors. But if you prefer all the comforts of the city and prefer wandering museums to forests, then head along provincial trunk highway 59 and you'll be able to find all you could want in Winnipeg.
Located in Winnipeg, the largest city and capital of the province of Manitoba, is the Club Regent Casino, the last but not least entry on our top land-based Manitoba casinos list. Slots fans have an impressive array of gaming machines, with more than 1,200 on the casino floor - many of these offer fun free spins bonus rounds. These include classic reel slots, newer video slots, and progressive games including $1 Million Powerbucks. Plus there's video poker and keno, and electronic table games, alongside electronic bingo. Stakes range from a cent to $100 so whatever your wallet size there's something to suit you. Live table games can be streamed online from PlayNow.com, Manitoba's own online betting site.
When you've finished your gaming session or simply want to take a break, there are multiple dining options from which to pick. Within the casino is Toukie's Lounge, which comes with a fully stocked bar, high definition televisions, and a variety of specials. Or you can refresh yourself at the Centre Bar, while delicious treats including fudge, ice-cream, doughnuts, and more are available at the Ice Cream Shoppe. In addition to all the gaming entertainment, this Manitoba Casino also hosts a variety of live performances to entertain visitors, so be sure to check the schedule and see what's playing when you're in town. Right beside the casino is Canad Inns Club Regent Hotel, which might be the perfect place for a player to stay. Other nearby destinations include the Winnipeg Art Gallery, a city centre exhibition of creative works ranging from Inuit sculptures to European paintings. Or you can find dining, retail, and recreational activities in abundance at The Forks, a riverside hotspot.
That finishes our quick run down the order of the best five land-based Manitoba casinos. As ever, only bet what you can afford to lose, and don't forget to have fun!