Hollywood Casino Joliet, Illinois

Discussion in 'Casino Reviews' started by random_roller, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. random_roller, Dec 27, 2015

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Hollywood Casino (Joliet, IL) is located on the Des Plaines River a few miles southwest of downtown Joliet, about 50 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. The casino is currently housed on a stationary barge. It opened in 1992 as Empress Casino and retained its name after being acquired by Horseshoe Gaming (1999) and then Argosy Gaming (2005). Penn National Gaming acquired Argosy Gaming in 2005. The casino was rebranded as Hollywood Casino Joliet in 2009, following rebuilding of the non-gaming entrance facilities (including restaurants) that had been gutted by a fire. A sister facility, the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Illinois, is @32 miles away. Harrah's Joliet is in downtown Joliet @6 miles away (@15 minute drive).

    Gaming Hours: 7:30 am to 5:30 am (closed for 2 hours per day, per state law)

    Smoking Permitted? No (state law), except outside or in designated smoking areas.

    Total Number of Craps Tables: 2
    Number of Crapless Craps tables: 0
    Table Minimum: $10 to $15 most times. $5 table might be available during slow times.
    Table Maximum: $5,000
    Odds: 20x (maximum $5,000)
    Fire Bet: Yes, $1 to $5
    Fire Bet Payout: 25 for 1 (4 different numbers), 250 for 1 (5 different numbers), 1000 for 1 (6 different numbers).
    All Tall Small Bet: No
    All Tall Small Payout: N/A
    Repeater Bet: No
    Repeater Bet Payout: N/A
    Vig on Buying 4/10: Charged on buy; $1 for $20 bet (up to $39 for the first $1), $2 for $40 to $59 bet, $3 for 60 to $79 bet, $4 for 80 to $99 bet, $5 for $100 bet
    Field Bet 2/12 payout: 2x on 2, 3x on 12

    Other Comments: The crew at the table I was playing at was friendly and adept at setting up/paying off bets. The facility is located off of US 6 but isn't visible from the road. The surrounding area is industrial, with lots of trucking companies in the area but you won't see them, as the casino grounds are quite large and well landscaped with trees and plants. Aside from the casino, there isn't much to see in the immediate area unless you enjoy checking out industrial plants (Caterpillar, Ecolab are neighbors) or railroads (Union Pacific Global 4 is across the river).

    Parking: Surface, garage, valet. Plenty of parking and the garage design is much better than the one at Harrah's Joliet.

    Hotel Comments: There is a detached hotel a short walk across the parking lot. A courtesy shuttle operates between the hotel and casino. There is also an onsite RV lot (seasonal, I believe).

    Buffet Comments: The Epic Buffet at Hollywood Casino Joliet was decent but nothing special. I played for @2+ hours at a $10 table and was comped the buffet. The buffet is located in a separate facility outside of the casino, so customers under 21 years old are permitted.

    Hollywood Stadium Sports Bar has a tremendous number of TVs to watch games, including a wall-size TV.
     
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  2. tabletop123, Dec 27, 2015

    tabletop123

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    I used to go there back in 2006, 2007 when it was the Empress. I think my last visit there was aroound 2009. Last time i was there they had those big, blueish,purple looking dice.

    Seemed like they threw a lot of crap numbers. Remember at the entrance they used to have 777 posted right on the bushes. If you come out & make a right turn it takes you down by all the factories.
     
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  3. random_roller, Dec 28, 2015

    random_roller

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    The Empress Joliet was one of the first Chicagoland casinos that I played at. The gaming floor probably hasn't changed too much (aside from the Egyptian motif being replaced with the Hollywood theme) since you were last there. The entrance was completely rebuilt after the fire and well done IMO. I have watched March Madness games at the Hollywood Stadium Sports Bar and that was a lot of fun.
     
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  4. random_roller, Sep 5, 2016

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Update for Hollywood Casino Joliet in Joliet, Illinois.

    Hollywood Casino Joliet 09052016 Report.png
     
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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  5. random_roller, Jan 3, 2017

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Early Monday morning @2 am, I stopped by Hollywood Casino (Joliet, IL) since I was already in the area, having played at Harrah's for several hours. If nothing else, I figured I would see if there was anything to update in my review from September 2016. The same crew that was there my last visit was manning the table when I arrived -- and they instantly recognized me. The box man even asked how my casino reviews were coming along! Wow, great memory. The vast majority of my local play is at Rivers and Horseshoe. Occasionally, I make it to Grand Victoria (Elgin) and even less often to Harrah's or Hollywood in Joliet. This particular crew at Hollywood Casino Joliet is probably the friendliest (as a group) I have encountered in my craps playing days. They're also do an excellent job running the craps table. Too bad these guys aren't working a craps table closer to where I live.

    Hollywood Joliet doesn't have the All Tall Small Bonus Bet, but otherwise the craps payouts are basically the same as Harrah's Joliet. Both casinos offer 20x odds, but Hollywood has a $25K max odds bet, which is higher than the $10,000 bet limit posted at Harrah's. For whatever reason, I've had more success shooting at Hollywood than Harrah's. If you visit Joliet, it's a short @6 mile drive between the 2 casinos.
     
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  6. Edward-ky, Jan 3, 2017

    Edward-ky

    Edward-ky Member

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    You know why they recognized you. Because you are a up and coming DI. You are on their radar now, it is circulating around the Chicago area. You have a bullseye on your back. No bohunk challenge for you. Can you say HEAT HEAT and nothing but HEAT.
     
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  7. random_roller, Jan 3, 2017

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Lol, says the one who has won 4 straight trips to the tables and is (apparently) using the casino cashier as an ATM. The Red Alert probably goes off when you enter the casino. Nope, no DI for me, but if others are enjoying success when using DI training/techniques, good for them. The crew at Hollywood Casino Joliet probably remembered me because I was making dealer bets and left a decent toke the last time. Or maybe my reputation as a playground hoops legend (in my own mind) has traveled outside Cook County.

    I might have to look into the Bohunk Challenge at some point. The potential payouts are certainly enticing. If nothing else, it would be interesting to see the roll distribution (something I don't track).
     
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  8. Liman

    Liman Member

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    do you let them know you are reviewing the casino while you are there?
    I would expect them to treat you nicer than normal if that's the case.
    the only time I told a pit I was going to mention something about the game was when I was in Maryland live and asked if I could take some photos for a blog.

    I do enjoy your reviews. And appreciate them. when I make that trip, I will have a printout of all your reviews to note where I might be interested in doing a stopover.
     
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  9. basicstrategy777, Jan 3, 2017

    basicstrategy777

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    Isn't that where the blues brothers are from....777
     
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  10. random_roller, Jan 3, 2017

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Thanks, Liman.

    If I'm asked, I will indicate why I'm collecting the information. The crews have been very willing to help whether or not they know what I'm doing. I'm also respectful of their primary responsibility to work the game and only ask questions when the flow of the game won't be interrupted. On the occasions where I have indicated I am putting together a review, I have often received a visit from the pit boss at some point and had a conversation. Fortunately, most of the information I compile can be gathered by looking at the craps/baccarat table and walking around the casino. For some things that aren't readily apparent, like max bet for $1 vig on Buy 4/10 or max odds bet ($), I'll ask the dealers.
     
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  11. Liman

    Liman Member

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    Im not critiquing the reviews, I enjoy every one of them.
    what would always help me and the wife a bit more, if you can state the type of area the casino is in, do you yourself consider it safe at night? safe to roam the parking lot at night? local hotels in decent areas?

    Im always reluctant to visit casinos in or near big cities never knowing if the neighborhood is dangerous place to be in, or the local clientele is a bunch of gang bangers, (ok, being a little over the top, but I think you get my drift)\


    let me add, I know you aren't writing the reviews for me.

    we have friends in Youngstown, (not in the city), kalamazoo, and northwest Indiana,(south of valpo) so we try to get out there whenever we have off enough days

    I didn't realize last trip how close the Illinois casinos are to blue chip in Michigan city.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  12. Onautopilot, Jan 3, 2017

    Onautopilot

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    Having lived in northern Indiana, and visiting a couple of the casinos on the lake, The casinos were fine, and the parking seemed secure. BUT, you do not want to roam around the cities there, especially after dark. Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, and Calumet City, would definitely not be on your comfort level at all!

    I haven't been to Joliet, Ill. in some time. But it would be my choice over the lake area casinos as far as safety goes.

    But RR is a 100% more familiar with that area than I am at the present, so any input he has would supersede anything I might suggest.
     
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  13. Twelve4s, Jan 3, 2017

    Twelve4s

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    Jake:

    "What happened to the Blues Mobile?"

     
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  14. basicstrategy777, Jan 3, 2017

    basicstrategy777

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    That is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite movies.

    777
     
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  15. Twelve4s, Jan 3, 2017

    Twelve4s

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    If I was on death row and they granted me one final wish, I would ask to see Jake and Elwood, one last time....
     
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  16. random_roller, Jan 3, 2017

    random_roller

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    1. Chicagoland casinos in Northwest Indiana -- Horseshoe (Hammond), Majestic Star I & II (Buffington Harbor), Ameristar (East Chicago)

    These casinos are located in industrial areas (i.e., steel mills, chemical plants, etc.) by the lake, so really not much reason to venture outside the casino, unless you like watching trains, in which case that whole area is a gold mine. A possible exception is Ameristar (East Chicago, IN), which has a public beach and fishing pier adjacent (see photos I had attached to the review). There is no reason I can think of for you to visit downtown Hammond or Buffington Harbor (Gary). Those cities have been hit hard the past 40+ years with multiple steel mill closings and remain economically depressed.

    In previous visits, I have never felt unsafe in the casino or parking garage at Horseshoe or Ameristar. Both casinos draw players from Chicagoland (including locals) because of their player's card program. I have only been to Majestic Star on a handful of occasions over the years (without incident), usually during the day. It is definitely more of a "locals" casino.

    If you choose to stay at one of the NW Indiana casino hotels, Ameristar is far and away the better option (compared with Majestic Star). There is no hotel attached to Horseshoe and none in the area I would recommend. Note that I'm not including Blue Chip (Michigan City, IN) or Four Winds (New Buffalo, MI) in the comparison.

    2. Chicagoland casinos in Illinois -- Rivers (Des Plaines), Grand Victoria (Elgin), Hollywood (Aurora), Harrah's (Joliet), Hollywood (Joliet)

    Rivers Casino in Des Plaines is located amongst numerous office buildings & hotels, close to O'Hare International Airport. The surrounding area is not a terribly exciting walk, but it is relatively safe during daylight hours. Watch out for vehicle traffic, though, as cars travel fast on Des Plaines River Road. This is an upscale casino compared with others in the area. During previous visits, I have always felt safe at this casino (aside from the tables robbing me on occasion) and in the parking garage. The Courtyard Chicago O'Hare is to the north of the casino's parking garage, while the Hyatt Rosemont is south of the casino parking lot (across Devon Avenue). Numerous other hotels are in the area.

    Grand Victoria is located a few blocks south of downtown Elgin. There is no attached hotel and none in the immediate area that I am familiar with. In previous visits, I have always felt safe in the casino and parking garage. The Fox River Trail passes by the casino as it follows the Fox River. Parts of the trail farther south (by St. Charles) are very scenic, especially during the fall. Head north on the trail to get to downtown Elgin. Day time only for the trail and visiting downtown. I like this casino, but Rivers is far more convenient from where I live.

    Hollywood Aurora is located in downtown Aurora. The self parking garage is a 5-10 minute walk to the casino. If you plan on playing at night, you should valet park because it is a very quiet (eerie?) walk to the connected, but detached parking garage at 3 am. Perhaps I have too vivid an imagination -- perhaps from having watched too many shows on Investigation Discovery channel. You should be okay walking around downtown Aurora during the day. In previous visits, I have always felt safe in the casino.

    I haven't walked around downtown Joliet, where Harrah's is located. During the daytime you're probably okay, but I wouldn't consider it at night; no reason to, really. In previous visits, I have always felt safe in the casino and parking garage. It's a decent setup for out-of-town players needing a place to stay, with the advantage of being a non-smoking casino (as is the case with all IL casinos), compared with Ameristar.

    Hollywood Joliet is located away from downtown. It is tucked away in an tree-lined parcel of land, with the trees hiding the surrounding industries. The detached hotel is a few minutes walk across the parking lot from the casino entrance. Aside from the casino, there isn't anything to do in the immediate area. I haven't had any safety concerns about the casino or parking garage during previous visits. If you visit Joliet, it might come down to which player's card program is preferred, or if the All Tall Small bet (Harrah's) or speed of play (Hollywood) is more important. During the winter, Harrah's has an advantage because the hotel is attached.
     
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  17. Liman

    Liman Member

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    thankyou sir,

    I spent 33 years in the highest crime area of NY city running my business.
    people used to say to me, well, youll be ok, youre a big guy, look intimidating, and you always carry a firearm.

    fucking people just don't have a clue.

    Im not worried so much about myself, I always worry about my wife.

    Im not young anymore, and Im not fast anymore. a lot of big talkers who think they are invincible, but Ive seen and dealt with 100s of low level street criminals. they aren't nice people.
    busting an old man over the head for 50 bucks makes them feel proud.

    I do everything I can to avoid putting myself into a sticky situation.
     
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  18. Liman

    Liman Member

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    I think though on our next trip, besides firekeepers, we are thinking of staying overnight, or a few nights at 4 winds, I think it was buffalo?
     
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  19. random_roller, Jan 3, 2017

    random_roller

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    Four Winds (New Buffalo, MI) has an excellent setup. Good choice. And it's only @12 miles from Blue Chip (Michigan City, IN), so if things aren't going well at Four Winds, you can easily hop in the car and make the short 20 minute drive to Blue Chip and try your luck there.
     
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