Casino Dene Review

Editorial Team

Casino expert

Casino Dene Review

Hidden away in Cold Lake is one of Alberta’s best-kept secrets. But is Casino Dene worth the drive? Read on as we reveal the vibrant gaming options available to you, show you how to claim free play rewards and provide insights into the unique experience offered by Casino Dene in Alberta.

Casino Dene Ratings

Overall Rating 3.9/5

Slot Machines


Casino Games


Staff & Service


Loyalty & Rewards


Casino Atmosphere


House Rules (T&Cs)


Player Feedback




Table of Contents

Rating and Review Process for Casino Dene

We use a highly specialized and unique review system to ensure our experts can thoroughly examine casinos in Canada and provide insights like no one else can. By actually visiting each casino we test, our experts are able to provide a first-hand experience of the casino.

Our goal is to ensure you can make an informed decision using cold-hard facts. We can ensure this by providing details on the games you can play, the level of service you can expect, and by fully analyzing the legitimacy of the casino operator.

How we inspected Casino Dene

  • Date of visit: 11/18/2023
  • Time of visit: 6 PM – 1 AM
  • Initial bankroll: C$100
  • What we played: Roulette, Slots
  • Final bankroll: C$131
  • Next visit: 11/17/2024

What we looked at

To ensure our ratings are consistent, we use objective and subjective criteria when analyzing casinos. This means looking out for specific features, ensuring certain games are present, and taking the time to fully assess the casino’s atmosphere and feel.

What we found


Route 28 &, AB-897, Cold Lake, AB T9M 1P4

Open hours

11 AM – 2 AM

Fri & Sat: 11 AM – 3 AM


Not required

Minimum age


ID checks


Game types

Slots, poker, roulette, blackjack, VLT machine



Slot machines


Gaming terminals



Cash, Card, Chips

Average betting range

Table: Up to C$100

Slots: C$0.01+

Free drinks (Canada)

Coffee and non-alcoholic drinks





Poker tournaments

Bounty and Texas Hold’em: C$100 – C$200 buy in

Slot Machines – 5/5

Casino Dene has 250 slots from three industry-leading slot providers. This is far from the biggest number of slots in Alberta though.

Slots we played at Casino Dene

We made a beeline for the first slot we saw, Wheel of Fortune. Without winning the jackpot, we then moved on to Pompeii which has a retro feel. Finally, we had another shot at a progressive jackpot with Diamond Millions which, unfortunately for us, remains at over C$1 million.

How many slot machines does Casino Dene have?

We counted and confirmed 250 slot machines at Casino Dene.

Do the slot machines accept coins?

No, slot machines only accept cash notes and the Winner’s Edge rewards card.

Slot machine providers

  • Aristocrat
  • IGT
  • Light & Wonder

Local progressive jackpots

Casino Dene has all of the Alberta Progressive’s which includes Alberta Gold, Jackpot Junction, and Diamond Millions. Diamond Millions is famed for having a starting jackpot of C$1 million.

You will also find lots of local progressive jackpot slots with increasing prize pools, including player favourites like Wheel of Fortune and Huff & More Puff.

Casino Games – 4/5

We were very impressed to see genuine blackjack tournaments, not just poker tournaments. You can also play roulette and a few poker variations, but we could only find craps and baccarat on the VLT machines.

Game types

  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Poker
  • Craps (VLT only)
  • Baccarat (VLT only)

Betting limits

You can bet up to C$100 playing any of the table games on offer including roulette, blackjack, and three-card poker.

Can anyone bet the highest limits or do you need special VIP access?

Yes, anyone can bet the table limits at Casino Dene.

Casino Dene poker tournaments

You can sit in numerous poker tournaments at Casino Dene. Most tournaments are usually No Limit Texas Hold’em and are held on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. During our visit, C$1/C$2 was advertised with a C$100 buy-in.

Staff & Service – 3/5

Food & Drinks

Casino Dene only offers one dining option – Aurora Bar & Lounge – which provides a modest menu of casino favourites including chicken wraps, steak sandwiches, and beet bannock. The restaurant provides more snack-like items for late-night gamblers.

Food is reasonably priced with most mains costing around C$14 – C$19. There are also regular specials such as Prime Rib Fridays, Wings Wednesdays, and Thursday Braised Beef Ribs.

Aurora Bar & Lounge

  • Every day: 11 AM – 2 AM

How much do you tip at Casino Dene?

Tipping is usually around 15-20% in Alberta.

Does Casino Dene offer free drinks?

Aurora Bar & Lounge offers free coffee but complimentary alcoholic drinks are not offered to players.

You can also get free non-alcoholic drinks during poker and blackjack tournaments.

Is there a buffet at Casino Dene?

There were no buffets when we visited the casino and the wait staff informed us none were currently on the schedule.


There is plenty of free parking located out the front of the casino. We counted a couple of hundred spots, at least, but it’s just a parking lot rather than a secure lock-up.


Hotel Dene is located right next to Casino Dene. You’ve got several room choices, a bistro, and the 3-star hotel offers easy access to the casino floor. You can stay during the week for around C$80 a night but expect to pay upwards of C$110.

Do you tip room service at Casino Dene?

Hotel Dene does not offer room service, but you can tip the staff at the onsite bistro, BirchBark Bistro.

Are there smoking areas?

Yes, there is an indoor smoking section inside the casino that also features slot machines.

Hotel guests must step outside or go to the casino smoking section to smoke.


The security team checked our IDs upon entry and gave us helpful directions. CCTV is located all over the casino, and we certainly felt safe. However, we didn’t notice much security around the parking areas outside – but route 28 is hardly a hotspot for crime.

Loyalty & Rewards – 5/5

How does the Casino Dene rewards program work?

The Winner’s Edge card is a rewards program that works at every Alberta casino. Players earn 1 point for every C$1 – C$5 spent on slots and table games and those points can be redeemed for free play. Additionally, we confirmed numerous exclusive bonuses and rewards.

What you get

  • Welcome bonus of up to C$1,000 free-play
  • 10% dining discounts
  • Additional free play

How to register in the program

You can get your hands on a Winner’s Edge card using three different methods.

  1. Go to and complete the signup form
  2. Head to any Winner’s Edge kiosk at an Alberta casino
  3. Go to Guest Services at Casino Dene and sign up
  4. Regardless of your chosen method, pick up your card after presenting your ID at Guest Services

Casino Atmosphere – 3/5

Inside Casino Dene

To provide insights into the overall atmosphere at Casino Dene, we’ve presented our findings on the design of the casino, the non-gaming entertainment on offer, and what you can expect to see and do in the surrounding area.

Design experience

Casino Dene is a common-looking casino with a slightly dated décor that actually feels quite nostalgic. You’ll notice subtle nods to the Cold Lake First Nations in some of the artwork along the walls and ceilings too.

Are you allowed to take photos in Casino Dene?

Yes, but not at the live tables. You’re free to take photos around the slot machines though.

Location and surroundings

Frankly, this casino is kind of in the middle of nowhere. Situated along Route 28 there isn’t much to do or see for kilometers. However, Cold Lake is about a 16-minute drive north.

Do you need a passport to visit Casino Dene?

No, any form of government-issued ID is acceptable at Casino Dene. However, we do recommend tourists use their passports if their local ID may be difficult to assess.


Casino Dene regularly has free live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The musicians play late and there is rarely a cover charge. You’ll typically see local acts and fantastic cover bands.

House Rules (T&Cs) – 4/5

Casino Dene opening hours

The casino is open from 11 AM to 2 AM, Sunday through to Thursday. But on Friday and Saturday, the casino is open for an extra hour.

Does Casino Dene charge entry?

No, Casino Dene does not charge an entry fee.

Do you always need a reservation to play at Casino Dene?

No, simply turn up and play. If any seats are unavailable at a table or slot, simply wait your turn.

Is membership required at Casino Dene?

No membership is needed, nor is membership offered. You can join the Winner’s Edge rewards program though.

Dress code

We didn’t see a formal dress code being enforced at Casino Dene. It seems you can dress fairly casually but, as you’d expect, you can’t wear offensive or violent clothing or anything gang related.

Standout rules at Casino Dene

All the rules we encountered were exactly what we expected from a casino in Canada.

Player Feedback – 3.7/5

Casino Dene holds strong ratings after almost 390 reviews across Google and Tripadvisor. However, the Tripadvisor reviews are a little dated compared to Google, which still receives regular comments.

Casino Dene player reviews

Google – 4/5

Reviews on Google are extremely positive with many pointed towards the attentive staff and free entertainment, but some did comment on how small the casino gaming selection was.

Tripadvisor – 3.5/5

Customers commented on the great level of entertainment and gaming options but many felt the food was a little lackluster.

Most common issues

  • Underwhelming food
  • Small gaming offering

Operator – 3/5

Who owns Casino Dene?

The casino is owned and operated by the Denesuline Tribe of the Cold Lake First Nations. Cold Lake First Nations maintains an agreement with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

This casino continues to reflect the First Nations community and profits from the casinos provide for the local community development.

Contact info


Email address

[email protected]

Telephone number

(780) 594-7900

Toll-free: 1-888-594-7228


Facebook, Instagram

Casino Dene Competitors

Besides online casinos in Canada, which will always compete against any land-based operator, Casino Dene doesn’t really have any real competition. There are numerous casinos in Alberta but Casino Dene is a long way from any of them. The closest is Gold Horse Casino which is over 150km away.

Casino Dene Pros and Cons


  • Provides regular blackjack tournaments with big jackpots
  • Low C$100/C$200 poker tournament buy-in cost
  • Dedicated smoking section with slots and VLT machines
  • Free live music on the weekends


  • Only 250 slot machines in total

Should You Roll the Dice on Casino Dene?

Casino Dene is located in Cold Lake and it’s hardly a pit stop on the road. Offering 250 games, free entertainment on weekends, and affordable poker tournaments, there are plenty of reasons to visit. However, you’ll want to stay the night and make an evening of it.

There isn’t a huge range of games and some players might run through their favourites quite quickly. The entertainment is excellent, but unless you’re local, you may not know what to expect from the musical acts. We think Casino Dene provides an enjoyable casino for most players, but you may want to plan your visit thoroughly.