The Jewel of Jamul

The small town of Jamul is located in San Diego’s East County. Its highlights are the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and several regional parks offering camping, hiking, fishing, and grand vistas.  My visit was to check out the three year old Jamul Casino located 20 minutes from downtown San Diego.

Tribal History

The Jamul Indian Village is one of 13 federally recognized tribes of the Kumeyaay Nation of Southern California. Their ancestors have been in the region for 12,000 years.  In August, 2018, the tribe began independently operating the Jamul Casino.

Where’s the Action

The Jamul Casino boasts 200,000 square feet of 24/7 entertainment, food, and gambling.  There are over 1,700 flashing, chiming, bell ringing slots, and 15 different table games, including the big four; craps, blackjack, roulette, and pai gow.  My favorite area was the well appointed, comfortable ten table poker room.

Quadruple Whammy

I had the opportunity to play in an 11 AM Sunday tournament and was impressed by the level of play.  The game was fun until I got knocked out in 11th place.  This was bad for three reasons: I didn’t make the final table, was out of the money, and no bragging rights.  But, it got worse.  I walked over to the Sunday Lobster Buffet and it had closed!  Quadruple whammy, indeed.

Food and Entertainment

There are a lot of eating choices, including the top of the line steak and seafood house, Prime Cut. Its outstanding wine cellar won the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence in both 2018 and 2019.  Other options include Tony Gwynn’s  Sports Pub (don’t miss the grilled lobster & cheese sandwich), Loft 94 (serving 24 craft beers and gourmet bar food), Emerald (Chinese cuisine with generous portions). The Jamul Marketplace showcases three fast food type outlets; a pizzeria, burgers and shakes, and a taqueria.  The Coffee Shop features Mary’s Donuts (5-stars on Yelp) and in-house baked cakes, cookies, and brownies (my favorite).

There are three special all-you-can-eat buffets: Thursday – snow crab, Friday – prime rib, and  Sunday – lobster.  JIVe Lounge features DJs and live, local bands, plus an array of signature handcrafted cocktails. 

Nice Touches

There is an enclosed parking structure with approximately 1,800 spaces.  Step on the elevator and you are delivered directly to the casino.  Even easier, there is free valet parking.

Make sure to join the Sweetwater Rewards Club.  It provides terrific discounts, comps, and extras based on your level of play.  Every day, Jamul Casino has some sort of promotional giveaway.  Take a look at the website under the promotions tab.

The Jamul Trading Company offers top quality gifts, souvenirs, etc.

State-of-the-art beverage dispensers, including coffee, water, and soft drinks, can be found in the casino; all  free. 

The multilingual staff is helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable; clearly tuned into customer needs. 

Need a ride?  Check online for their shuttle bus schedule and pick up locations in and around San Diego.


Everything about Jamul Casino can be found at their website.  Logon to tor a schedule of the poker tournaments and cash games under the casino tab.  Also, check out give-aways, promotions, and daily specials. 

There’s ALWAYS something going on at the Jewel of Jamul!

Let’s go….



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About the Author'

Howard Hian

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