If you are passing through the Midwest and have a layover in Chicago, or if you are feeling the need to gamble and find yourself near the Great Lakes, you may want to visit one of the many casinos around the area for a night of excitement. The mayor of Chicago is chomping at the bit to get casino gambling legalized in Chicago proper. The city is looking at the potential millions in gambling revenues with avarice and Detroit casinos are already ahead of the game. But, until SB 17339 is passed they will have to bide their time and you will have to stretch your travelers legs to get there.
But that does not mean the guests of Chicago, IL have to miss out on some of the hottest action around short of Las Vegas within easy driving distance from O’hare airport. Taking the Skyway south of the City to Hammond and Gary Indiana you can experience Vegas style excitement without the glitz, meaning the standard assortment of slots and tables without the shows. They remind me of an early Atlantic City before the hotels really took over putting the player above amenities alone.
For example, with over 2,400 slot and video games and over 70 gaming tables The Majestic Star Casino is a great way for a weekend getaway if you are interested in your suit having a coffee pot, TV, and little else. Even though The Majestic doesn’t have it all, there is live entertainment and decent food ranging from deep-dish pizza to sushi-grade surf and turf at 3 top of the line restaurants. There is a private dock for yout yacht as well, just call to reserve a spot!
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In nearby Hammond, Jack Binion’s Steakhouse is world famous located in Horseshoe Hammond Casino which has 100 gaming tables, 2000 slots, and 6 different restaurant and its a bit higher class feeling than the others around town. If you want a quick meal you can try the Paula Deen buffet and gift store. Again hotel rooms are available and this time with a touch of luxury. If you bring your swim suit you can swim in the middle of February in their heated pool. The Horseshoe has live entertainment with the hottest stars, acts, and music groups from all over the world. They are part of the Caesars Total Rewards network of sites and casinos.
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A little over an hour away from Chicago in Michigan City you have the Bluechip casino (map it). Again, luxury is the name of the game when it comes to rooms, dining and entertainment. This Hotel/casino offers 65,000 square feet of self-proclaimed pure gaming enjoyment. Going south of the city in Joliet we have a Harrah’s Hotel and Casino (map it) also run by Caesar’s Entertainment. They have over 1,100 of the hottest slots and progressive machines and video poker from the big names in the industry. Set in the heart of a newly revamped city center with fine restaurants and pubs all within easy walking distance, Harrah’s is a great choice for a stay.
Further, down the river from city center is the Hollywood casino formally the Empress casino, after a fire destroyed it is has been reborn into a lavish and upscale establishment. This casino has it all celebrity dealers, some of the finest steaks and seafood to be found anywhere around. The Hollywood has 20 tables for nonstop action and 1,100 real and progressive slots for an exciting night out or weekend getaway on the south side.
To the west of Chicago in Aurora is another Hollywood casino. Again, there are 1,100 slots and exciting table games. The entertainment and dinning are superb with the Fairbanks Steak house for an upscale. If something quicker is to your liking the Epic buffet is pretty good, or if you want it even fast to not miss any of the action try the Take Two Deli where your favorite deli treats are available.
Chicago may not be Vegas and it might not even be a close second, but look at how many places there are to enjoy a little gambling while seeing everything else these cities have to offer. The Chicago area can make your stay in the Midwest pleasurable and exciting for either a weekend excursion to see the sights, or fantastic dining experiences, to bet on the hot tables and slots.