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Sep 22 2019

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Central City Colorado Casinos & Gambling

Welcome to the Central City, Colorado! We are your one stop casino and gambling information guide. Click here for Central City 2013 event schedule!

Now you can search all lodging in Central City from one place using our hotel booking form at the top of every page. The traditional list of hotels and bed and breakfasts is here: Central City hotels and lodging.

Our favorite casino hotel in Central City is the newly remodeled Reserve Casino & Hotel, but if you prefer more of a relaxing get-away that is still close to the casinos, we suggest Hoopers Homestead, which even includes an outdoor hot tub to enjoy the Colorado night sky. If all the rooms in Central City are filled up (which actually does happen from time to time) we suggest trying the hotels in Black Hawk

Our site provides information on every casino in Central City including: maps, employment opportunities, photos and contact information. We also provide all the relevant gaming information for each gaming establishment including the number of slots, poker tables, roulette, craps, etc. There is even a message board specifically designated for each casino at our sister site the Colorado Gambling Forum.

Central City – The Beginning

It was on May 6, 1859, John H. Gregory located, staked, and pre-empted the first mining claims in what was to become known as the “Richest Square Mile on Earth.”

This spot, marked by the Gregory Monument, is near the city limits of Central City and Black Hawk. The area was originally called Gregory’s Diggings, but very soon became known as Mountain City. Click this link to find more information regarding the history of Central City, Colorado, which is quite interesting! Did you know Central City nearly became the Colorado state capital? It is also home to the Gilpin County Museum, Teller House and the world famous Central City Opera.

Central City Casinos & Gambling

Let us be your guide through the casino lined streets of Central City, Colorado where you will find this historic location more or less intact – minus the brothels and gun fights. But you’ll still find a lot of wild gamblers these days.

How casinos came to Central City

In 1991 Colorado voters passed a bill legalizing limited stakes gambling in three historic gold mining districts around Colorado: Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. Bets were originally limited to $5 max bet, but in 2008 a new bill passed allowing the casinos to take up to $100 per bet, offer craps and roulette and stay open 24 hours a day. This has definitely given Denver gamblers even more reason to make the travel to Central City, and the towns have surged because of it.

So, as you might expect, Central City is full slot machines, video poker, live blackjack, craps, roulette and poker; all in historic buildings of course! – oh, except the new mega casinos that in some cases mountains were moved to construct. So while the original idea was to protect the towns from becoming ghost towns, the gaming craze has definitely caught on and history is being written, again. By the way, we aren’t trying to downplay the historically redone buildings, they are fabulous – just check out the Crystal Palace or a small sampling of the interior of some of these casinos. Crystal Palace is one of the newest casinos to open in Central City.

Central City has eight fabulous casinos: Crystal Palace Casino, Century Casino & Hotel, Doc Holliday, Dostal Alley, Easy Street, Famous Bonanza, Johnny Z’s, and The Reserve Hotel & Casino. According to the Colorado Division of Gaming there are exactly 2,246 slot machines, 26 poker tables, 11 blackjack tables, 4 craps tables and 4 roulette tables across all of the casinos in Central City. Poker players: to save you some time if you want to get in serious poker games, head to The Reserve or Century Casino.

Central City is definitely more in its original state than Black Hawk and is a refreshing change if you want a break from the crowds. (If you’re not from the area, Black Hawk borders Central City and the casinos are separated by less than a mile. Don’t forget to visit the Dostal Alley Casino & Brewpub which serves excellent micro-brew beers along with great Italian food downstairs.

Hotels in Central City

If you need a place to stay we have a few casino hotels now (use the form at the top of this site to find best rates over all the hotels in your date range). We have Century Casino & Hotel which is the newest large casino hotel in town, and The Reserve Casino Hotel which used to be called Fortune Valley. Johnny Z’s Casino has rooms too, but I think you have to be a regular to get them. Hoopers Homestead is also a popular favorite. It isn’t attached to a casino but it has it’s own perks (like an outdoor hot tub to soak in and view the stars).

Central City, Colorado in conclusion

You will find Central City casinos a fun experience if you are a slots player. Poker players shoudl immediately head to The Reserve Casino or Century Casino to catch a game. There is also Black Hawk. There is no smoking in the casinos anymore (any town). Most of the casinos will give you drinks for free if you are an active player. Make sure to tip your valets, wait and casino staff!

Other Black Hawk and Colorado gambling links:

Online gambling and internet poker rooms

There are many ways to qualify for poker tournaments and one of the most popular ways is now at online poker rooms. Online poker is not legal in all locations, so you need to check with your local law enforcement authorities before playing.

Although this page is not about any specific online casino, we are including it here because it does advertise some of the more trusted casinos out there. It has a great black jack strategy page that is just as good in the land based casinos of Colorado as it is online. We also recommend all online casino players to be cautious when depositing money onto a casino site.

It is your responsibility to make sure its legal to play online in your local area. Always make sure you know the laws first before you play. We are not responsible for your actions after leaving our site.

Cool video tour of Central City, CO

Reserve Casino & Hotel

Hoopers Homestead

Central City Opera video

Gilpin County Museum

Summer Fest in Central City

Central City’s two faces

There are two sides to Central City, although it is all growing closer together as the bigger casinos continue to grow towards the historic buildings. By two sides we mean the two casinos housed in newer modern construction and the casinos inhabiting historic and reonovated buildings. In Central City (unlike Black Hawk) the casinos housed in historical buildings out number the larger casinos, the Reserve Hotel Casino and Century Casino Hotel.

Unfortunately not all of the historic buildings are being used right now with a lot of really nice real estate up for sale. For want-to-be casino owners, this is a great place to start up a casino with gaming real-estate not being that outrageously priced and the potential rewards could be great! There are a fair amount of good deals for gaming companies to take advantage of, but the slots are filling up and we believe that in not too many years the entire downtown area will be wall to wall casinos.

Here is the old historic part of Black Hawk. Many of the old buildings here have been converted into casinos. These casinos are modern on the inside though, so don’t be fooled. There is a more old mining town feeling to this section of town. This is where you’ll find Bullwhackers, Black Hawk Station, Saratoga Casino Black Hawk, Bull Durham, Wild Card Casino, Gilpin Hotel, and the Canyon Casino.

Central City Colorado – how it happened

News of the strike reached Denver by May 17th. First publication of this was in the May 28, 1859 issue of the Rocky Mountain News. As of May 23rd, there were a total of 14 claims in the gulch.

In the June 11, 1859 issue of the Rocky Mountain News the following item appeared:

“When we entered the diggings on the 20th of May, there were about twenty men in that vicinity, only two quartz leads had been opened and but three claims on one of those and two on the other. In two weeks from that time more than 3,000 men were at work, at least thirty leads satisfactorily prospected, and several hundred claims opened and profitably worked.”

By the middle of July 1859, between 20,000 and 30,000 people were living in and around Gregory Gulch.

From 1859 through 1866, Central City was the most important town in Colorado Territory. Cenral City became the county seat when Gilpin County was organized in 1861. The Territorial legislature granted a City Charter to the City of Central in March 1864. This was 12 years before Colorado achieved statehood in 1876.

There are two popular stories about how Central City was named. One story involves William N. Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News. In June 1859, he camped where the Golden Rose Inn is now located. He suggested that a town be laid out in that vicinity. Since it was about half way between Nevada City (Nevadaville) and Mountain City he said it should be called “Central City.”

Another story is that a miner’s supply store was in the same area and the sign over the entrance was “Central City Store.” The surrounding area then became known as Central City. One way or another, Central City, the cradle of Colorado, was born. It’s official name: The City of Central.

The first newspaper published in the mountains was the Rocky Mountain Gold Reporter and Mountain City Herald. In its first issue, dated August 13, 1859, it contained the following article regarding Mountain City:

“Although not three months old, it contains already some 300 buildings substantially erected, with a population of between 2,800 and 3,000, nearly all of whom are miners. Yet the arts and trades are well represented, we have about 25 stores, 2 jewelry shops, 3 tailor shops, blacksmiths, shoemakers, painters, etc.”

On September 29, the first snow fell and most of the miners returned to lower elevations. However, a census taken in late October revealed that nearly 2,300 men were still in the mountain areas of Black Hawk, Central City, Nevadaville, and Russell Gulch.

History provided by the Gilpin County Museum. Read the full Central City history article. We also have mini articles on some of the historic sites and tours around Central City that you don’t want to miss: Coeur d’Alene Mine Shaft House and the historic Thomas House.


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