Living: California tribal casinos offer more than just gambling

"There are four hotel- casinos within easy driving distance of downtown Sacramento – Red Hawk in Placerville, Thunder Valley in Lincoln, Cache Creek in Brooks and Jackson Rancheria in Jackson – and when planning a visit to any of them it is often good, even wise, to remember things to do away from the casino floor.

A casino these days is much more than a casino. Herewith, 10 good bets to enjoying the best of local casinos:

Gorge yourself

The days of the $1.99 all-you-can-eat buffet in casinos are sadly long gone, but bargains can still be found. Usually, they require having one of the club's players cards, and of course the more you play the bigger the bargain. But it costs nothing to sign up and allows you to eat for $10 for lunch at the Jackson Rancheria Buffet, $10.50 for weekday lunch or weeknight dinner at Red Hawk, and $9.99 for lunch and dinner at Cache Creek."

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Cash in with these non-gambling pastimes at area casinos (The Sacramento Bee 2/19)

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