Harrah's Joliet

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Harrah's Joliet
Harrah's logo.svg
Location Joliet, Illinois, United States
Address 151 N. Joliet Street
Opening dateMay 4, 1993; 25 years ago (May 4, 1993)
ThemeArt Deco
No. of rooms204
Total gaming space40,000 square feet (3,700 m2)
Casino typeRiverboat
OwnerVici Properties (80%)
John Q. Hammons (20%)
Operating license holderCaesars Entertainment

Harrah's Joliet is a riverboat casino in Joliet, Illinois, outside Chicago, operated by Caesars Entertainment. It has 1,138 slot machines, 204 hotel rooms, and 4 restaurants.


The city began a downtown revitalization effort called Joliet City Center in 1990.[1] The plan called for a greater emphasis on the Des Plaines riverfront, including the construction of a slip for riverboat gambling, which had been legalized by the state earlier that year. Early discussions were held between Joliet and Harrah's, operator of casinos in Nevada and Atlantic City,[2] but it was Missouri hotel developer John Q. Hammons who moved forward and was awarded the gaming license.[3] Hammons then brought Harrah's on board to operate the business and own an 80 percent share. Hammons' stake was initially to be financed by Harrah's, but this led to concern from the Illinois Gaming Board that Hammons was "selling" the license, so Hammons used his own money and outside funding sources instead.[4]

Harrah's Joliet launched its first boat on May 4, 1993, a 210-foot yacht named the Northern Star, with 500 slot machines and 40 table games.[5] A second vessel with a more traditional paddleboat look, the Southern Star, was added the following January.[6]

A $29-million hotel was added in 1999, with 204 rooms on 11 floors.[7]

After state law was changed to allow riverboat casinos to remain permanently docked, instead of cruising every two hours,[8] Harrah's replaced its boats in 2001 with two joined barges, with 40,000 square feet of gaming space with 1,138 slot machines and 31 table games.[9]

In October 2017, Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah's) transferred its 80 percent ownership stake in the property to Vici Properties as part of a corporate spin-off; Caesars continued to operate Harrah's Joliet under a lease agreement.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baeb, Eddie (November 2, 1997). "Hub of anticipation: City Center expects a rebound". Herald-News. Joliet: via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-20. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Heneghan, Daniel (October 12, 1990). "Harrah's plans riverboat casino near Chicago". The Press of Atlantic City. via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-21. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Susan Adler Thorp (March 4, 1992). "Promus plans casino on boat near Chicago". The Commercial Appeal. Memphis: via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-21. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Bierschenk, Ed (October 16, 1992). "Another Joliet gambling venture given go-ahead". The State Journal-Register. Springfield, IL: via NewsBank. Copley News Service. Retrieved 2012-05-21. (subscription required)
  5. ^ Hermann, Andrew (May 5, 1993). "New gambling boat sets sail out of Joliet". Chicago Sun-Times. via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-20. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Ver Berkmoes, Ryan (February 11, 1994). "A player's guide to the new riverboats". Chicago Sun-Times. via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-20. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Okon, Bob (November 7, 1999). "New deal downtown: Harrah's betting upscale hotel will draw out-of-towners". Herald-News. Joliet: via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-20. (subscription required)
  8. ^ McDermott, Kevin (June 30, 1999). "Illinois' new open boarding reportedly boosts crowds at casinos". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-20. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Grochowski, John (October 21, 2001). "Harrah's barges into future". Chicago Sun-Times. via NewsBank. Retrieved 2012-05-20. (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Vici Properties Inc., completes spin-off from Caesars Entertainment Operating Company" (Press release). Vici Properties. October 6, 2017 – via NewsBank.
  11. ^ Form 424B4: Prospectus (Report). Vici Properties. February 2, 2018. p. F-54 – via EDGAR.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°31′37″N 88°05′04″W / 41.527°N 88.084497°W / 41.527; -88.084497