Jackpot owes its existence to a 1954 law banning all forms of casino gaming in Idaho. In response two established Idaho casino operators, Don French and "Cactus Pete" Piersanti, moved their operations to this previously uninhabited point less than 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the Idaho border. French's and Piersanti's establishments – both still in operation today – were called the Horseshu Club and Cactus Pete's respectively. Less than a decade after its founding, the town had grown to over 400 full-time residents. Today Jackpot supports its own post office and high school.
Piersanti bought out French in 1964 to form what would eventually become Ameristar Casinos. Today Ameristar operates Cactus Pete's and the Horseshu as a single entity. Barton's Club 93, Ameristar's main competition in Jackpot, set up shop in 1967. All three properties are within easy walking distance of each other.
|Daily highs (°F)||37.8||41.4||49.2||57.1||66.2||76.6||86.8||85.7||75.9||62.2||47.4||37.0|
|Nightly lows (°F)||16.2||18.9||25.1||30.6||37.1||44.5||51.0||49.0||40.1||30.5||22.3||14.7|
U.S. Highway 93 runs north/south through Jackpot and is the only direct route into town. Driving south from Twin Falls, it's about 45 miles (72 km) to Jackpot. From points east and west, Interstate 80 has a junction with Highway 93 at Wells, 67 miles (108 km) south of Jackpot. From Boise and the Pacific Northwest, Interstate 84 has a junction with Highway 93 just north of Twin Falls. From Montana, Interstate 84 can be accessed through southbound Interstate 15 to Pocatello and then westbound Interstate 86. Caldwell Transportation offers regular chartered bus service to Jackpot from the Boise metro area.
The nearest commercial airport is Joslin Field - Magic Valley Regional Airport (IATA: TWF) in Twin Falls.
Jackpot is compact and very walkable. All of the city's casinos are located along U.S. 93. The town's few side streets are almost entirely residential.
Salmon Falls Creek.
Virtually all of the city's economic activity revolves around its casinos. Gambling has been the main pastime in Jackpot since day one, and that's unlikely to change anytime soon. However, Cactus Pete's features shows with relatively big-name talent. As in the rest of Nevada, you must be 21 to gamble or to even be on the casino floor, laws which are strenuously enforced.
There are souvenir shops in the casinos and a small supermarket near the Horseshu. That's it. You'll need to go to Twin Falls, Wells or Elko for anything more substantial.
There are no freestanding eating establishments – fast food or otherwise – in Jackpot. However Cactus Pete's, the Horseshu, Four Jacks and Barton's Club 93 all have established restaurants, some of which are open 24 hours. Menus are pretty similar, and not particularly exotic.
Once again, the only drinking establishments are in the casinos. In stark contrast to nearby Idaho, many Jackpot bars serve 24-7 (including holidays) and have for well over 40 years.
Stateline Liquor, ☎ . A small liquor store on the north end of town, often offers products unavailable in Idaho and Utah.
Cactus Petes Resort Casino, 1385 US Hwy 93, ☎ , toll-free: .
The Horseshu Hotel & Casino, 1220 US Hwy 93, toll-free: . The Horseshu doesn't have its own hotel front desk. All check-ins are across the street at Cactus Pete's.
West Star Hotel & Casino, 1800 Poker St, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: +1 775 755-2980.
Although legally in the Pacific Time Zone (UTC−8 standard time, UTC−7 daylight time), Jackpot de facto observes Mountain Time (UTC−7 standard, UTC−6 daylight) due to its economic ties with southern Idaho. Of particular note, show times at Cactus Pete's are always Mountain.
Because of its remoteness, rough terrain, unpredictable weather and consistent problem with drunk drivers, the approximately 45 miles (72 km) of U.S. 93 between Jackpot and Twin Falls is statistically one of the single most dangerous highways in the United States. Avoid travel at night or during winter storms whenever possible.
|Routes through Jackpot|
|Missoula ← Twin Falls ←||N S||→ Wells → Ely|