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A 25-minute drive from downtown Chicago and located in the middle of an industrial area, Horseshoe Hammond was originally the Empress Casino, opening in 1996 as a 54,000-square-foot, four-level gaming vessel.
It was re-branded as Horseshoe Casino Hammond on May 4, 2001. In 2004 Harrah’s Entertainment bought the Horseshoe and built a new vessel. The current casino facility – a combination of the vessel plus a pavilion – opened on Aug. 8, 2008.
The vessel boasts two public areas: a main gaming floor with special high limit, poker, and Asian gaming sections; and additional gaming space, a 3,400 capacity entertainment space – The Venue,
and a buffet.
The vessel is adjacent to the pavilion that houses additional food outlets (see below), as well as a gift shop and ballroom/meeting facilities.
There is no hotel, but qualified players may be accommodated at any number of partner hotels, some of which are in downtown Chicago (Hyatt Regency McCormick Place) or about a 10- or 15-minute drive down the road in Indiana (Residence Inn - Chicago Southeast, Fairfield Inn & Suites - Chicago Southeast or Courtyard by Marriott - Chicago Southeast).
NOTE: All shows, events and deadlines are subject to postponement or cancellation due to temporary casino closings and/or safety and health measures implemented by the state.
Due to the national coin shortage, for a limited time, Horseshoe Hammond will convert your coins to bills at no charge. The coin redemption machine is located at the Main Cashier.
This casino is equipped with Caesars proprietary Total Touch system that allows customers to order drinks, redeem free play, check their Caesars Rewards account balances, and receive real-time offers based on play.
■ Those with an aversion to smoke should know that the casino is probably more than 90 percent smoking, though there is a small non-smoking section at one end of the casino. Also, despite the best efforts of the casino's hard-working maintenance crew, the casino is littered with cigarette butts, ashes, empty cigarette packs and other debris, thanks to the inconsiderate players who don't seem to care about where they throw or leave their trash.
■ You no longer have to use all your free slot play at one machine. Let’s say you download $50, have a big win and decide your machine isn’t going to hit again for a while. You’re no longer stuck playing the balance of what you downloaded. Simply remove your Caesars Rewards card from the machine, and any unused free slot play will automatically be re-deposited back into your bank. Caesars casinos in Baltimore, Cherokee, New Orleans, Phoenix and Tunica – and perhaps others – are among those with similar policies.
■ There are several complimentary round-trip shuttles to the Horseshoe from downtown Chicago. Click here for more information.
■ Those 50 and older (with valid ID and Caesars Rewards card) get 50 percent off at the Village Square Buffet every Wednesday.
■ Sign up at HorseshoePass.com to get exclusive offers on tickets to events at The Venue.
■ All active and retired military receive 20 percent off at The Eatery every Tuesday.
■ Due to Indiana liquor laws, if you order a bottle of wine at the steak house, you either need to finish it or pour the remainder into glasses to take in the casino. You cannot take a partially consumed bottle outside the casino..
■ Driving to Hammond from downtown Chicago entails a $4.50 toll each way.
The words "mammoth," "huge" and "overwhelming" are the first to come to mind. At times I thought I was onboard a luxury ocean liner in the 1930s. Wood paneling, marble and crystal chandeliers are the basis for the decor. Wide sweeping staircases leading to a second-floor concert venue and buffet are truly spectacular. With more than 3,000 slot machines, nearly 100 tables games, and Keno, there is something for everyone. And don't forget to check out the beautiful Asian gaming area, Le Cheng.
Live poker games have resumed inside the Venue performance space, but only on weekdays. Players are required to wear a face mask and follow social distancing guidelines. In addition, food, drinks and spectators are not permitted in the Venue.
Unlike at some casinos, alcoholic beverages are not complimentary
, but there are self-serve beverage stations, right, that dispense complimentary soft drinks. In addition to two bars and lounges – Push and Sixth Street Bar at Horseshoe Hammond – there are four food outlets ranging from Jack Binion's Steak House and the Village Square Buffet to JB's Gourmet Sandwiches and Foo Noodle Bar. Note, though, that no one younger than 21 may enter the casino, so don't plan to take members of your family or friends to the casino for a meal or to see a show.
An additional dining option is Horseshoe's $5 million food hall adjacent to the casino floor.
The Eatery includes H Burger, 360 Pizza, Fresh and Café.
H Burger's signature prime burger features Angus beef with shaved prime rib, horseradish mayonnaise, sweet onions and provolone cheese on a caramelized bun.
360 Pizza serves brick-oven fired pizza.
Fresh offers sandwiches, salads and wraps with deli meats, seasoned roast beef, marinara meatballs, pulled pork and other ingredients.
Café features coffee and pastries, including éclairs, tiramisu, cheesecakes and brownies available 24 hours a day.
Horseshoe Hammond is now accepting sports wagers at its 5,300-sq. ft. sportsbook – The Book. The Book has 16 television monitors, each 85 inches wide. They can show several games on huge screens, or many sporting events at the same time. Also, up to 100 people can sit in the new sportsbook area that previously was home to the casino’s promotions center at the base of the escalator that goes to the Village Square Buffet and The Venue concert hall.
The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved the following for sports wagering:
Auto racing: NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar
Baseball: MLB and MLB draft, NCAA-Division 1 and Minor League Baseball - Triple A
Basketball: NBA and NBA draft, WNBA and WNBA draft, NCAA-Division 1, Euro League and Euro Cup, International Basketball Federation
Bowling: Pro Bowling Tour
Boxing: International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organization and Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports
Cricket: Men’s and women’s World Cup and International Cricket Council
Darts: PDC Championship
Football: NFL and NFL draft, NCAA-Division 1, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League
Golf: PGA, PGA Tour Champions, LPGA, Champion’s Tour, European Tour, international events like Ryder Cup, World Golf Championships and Web.com
Hockey: National Hockey League and NHL draft, NCAA-Division 1. International Ice Hockey Federation and World championships Lacrosse: NCAA-Division 1
Mixed martial arts: Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bellator MMA, One Championship, Professional Fighters League and Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports
Olympics: Summer and winter, including trials
Rugby: Six Nations, World Cup, World Rugby and Four Nations
Sailing: Americas Cup and International Sailing Federation
Soccer: FIFA sanctioned events, Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Series A, French Ligue 1, Mexican Liga Bancomer and NCAA-Division 1
Softball: NCAA-Division 1
Tennis: United States Tennis Association, Association of Tennis Professionals, Women’s Tennis Association, International Tennis Federation Grand Slams/Majors, NCAA-Division 1
Track and Field: International Association of Athletics Federations and NCAA-Division 1
Special Seven Stars benefits*
There is a Seven Stars Lounge (see below), dedicated lines at
the buffet andCaesars Rewards, and priority valet parking service.
There is a dedicated Seven Stars self-parking area, but it requires a special access card, which you can get at the Seven Stars Lounge or the Caesars Rewards Center. It can take up to 24 hours to activate. The entrance to this special reserved parking is past the Self Park garage and just prior to Valet.
There is a free cocktail hour in the Seven Stars Lounge on Fridays and Saturdays. Check for hours.
Seven Stars and Diamond cardholders can get a free shuttle pass – a $20 value – back to Chinatown in Chicago (Red Line stop). Go to the desk inside the bus pick-up/drop-off area.
Seven Stars Lounge With the exception of the two Seven Stars Lounges in Atlantic City and a "mini" lounge at Harrah's Cherokee, the Horseshoe has the only other in the country. The lounge – overlooking Lake Michigan and furnished very elegantly – was the first in the country and was built specially for this purpose. There are several groupings of two, four and more, as well as comfortable sofas and a bar that seats about 10 people.
Seven Stars cardholders who happen to be at Horseshoe Hammond on the seventh of any month from 6 to 10 can enjoy a special themed evening, e.g., a bourbon tasting and cigar night, in the Seven Stars Lounge. (The desserts shown are from a December holiday-themed party.) The lounge also has Taco Tuesdays and a mystery menu on Thursdays. A Laurel Lounge (formerly Diamond Lounge) , one flight up, with similar lake views, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are plenty of tables of two and four, as well as a bar that seats approximately 15. Guests place their orders from a menu, help themselves to the soup and salad bar, then return for the dessert buffet after their meal. On Fridays and Saturdays there is buffet service only due to increased volume on weekends, and Companion cardholders must be accompanied by the Seven Stars cardholder who designated them his/her companion (see sign above left) .
Caesars Rewards Center
The Caesars Rewards Center is open daily at 8 a.m., until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Should you choose this for your Annual Retreat?
Guests order food from a small menu that includes salads, fish and chips, sliders, chicken wings, etc.
While alcoholic beverages are not complimentary (see above), they're priced "below market." For example, a single pour of Tanqueray gin or Grey Goose vodka is $4.
I know several people who have chosen Horseshoe Hammond, were housed downtown in any number of nice hotels, and had their $500 folio credit split between the hotel and the casino. It's a great opportunity to take in all the sights in downtown Chicago and still have the casino atmosphere at night, but it's not terribly convenient to commute back and forth from a downtown Chicago hotel and the casino.
Also, note that casinos without hotels are under no obligation to host your annual retreat or even provide you with a complimentary hotel room during any visit.
Where Horseshoe Hammond is located
*subject to change
Gambling problem? Seven Stars Insider® promotes responsible gambling.
Neither Seven Stars Insider nor http://www.sevenstarsinsider.com is affiliated in any way with Caesars Holding, Caesars Entertainment Inc., Caesars License Company, LLC, Caesars Enterprise Services, LLC ("Caesars Entertainment") or Caesars Rewards®.