Editor’s Note: As of Jan. 20, this casino is open and following state-mandated COVID-19 protocols.
Argosy Casino in Alton, IL, is a riverboat casino on the Mississippi River.
Argosy features over 800 modern video slots and video poker machines, together with 12 tables where you can play blackjack, craps, roulette and other exciting games. The casino recently opened a sportsbook where you can bet on the most popular professional and collegiate games in the US.
With only 23,000 square feet of gaming space, Argosy Casino is not the largest gaming establishment in the state. Still, it’s well worth the visit considering its picturesque location, a rich selection of games and dining venues.
You must be 21 years or older to enter the establishment.
Penn National Gaming owns and operates the casino, which opened in 1991.
Although Illinois no longer requires riverboat casinos to cruise, Argosy Casino remains on a boat on the Mississippi River. This feature makes Argosy stand out among its competitors, as most other riverboat casinos in the state are docked permanently.
However, this does limit the casino’s gaming space, which is only about 23,000 square feet. The casino features a large selection of games, including more than 800 slot and video poker machines and 12 tables for various table games.
While the games come with various denominations and table limits, there isn’t a high-limit room. The casino does not feature a dedicated poker room either. However, sports fans can enjoy the sportsbook, which offers plenty of markets for the NFL, NBA, MLB and other sports.
Since the casino is on a boat, it does not offer accommodations. Luckily, there are plenty of nearby hotels you can find on the shore.
Argosy is part of the mychoice rewards program. You can collect tier points and redeem them for free play and enjoy further benefits. Many other casino promotions are available, including the Choose the Champs sportsbook promotion and Ghostly Bucks free slot play draw that runs every Friday.
Even though Argosy Casino has existed for nearly three decades, its collection of video slots on the casino floor is anything but outdated. Argosy has more than 800 brand-new slots with denominations that range from a couple of cents to several dollars.
This versatile collection of video slot machines includes everything from classic three-reel, one-payline games to modern five-reel slots with multiple HD screens and impressive visuals.
There are also dozens of progressive games with potentially big jackpots. The latest additions are 25 “must hit by $500” progressives, too. Of course, there are plenty of other progressive slots where the jackpot can be worth $60,000 or more.
Argosy also features plenty of themed slot games. The most popular ones are Lightning Loot, Red White & Blue, Geisha and Wheel of Fortune. Still, most players like to try their luck on Lightning Link and Buffalo Grand, both of which are common at Illinois casinos.
The lack of a poker room is somewhat compensated by a substantial selection of electronic poker games. These fast-paced video poker machines have a low house edge and can provide hefty rewards.
Argosy Casino in Alton has only 12 tables, which is understandable considering the riverboat’s limited gaming space. Nevertheless, the games’ versatility is still impressive; you can find everything from classic blackjack games to more modern variations such as 21+3.
There are no high-limit tables at the casino, but if you play your cards right, you could walk away with thousands of dollars. If you don’t know the rules of a particular table game, the friendly, professional dealers are there to help. Also, you can read about the games’ rules on the casino’s official website.
Here are the six table games available at Argosy Casino:
Argosy Casino is part of Penn National Gaming’s mychoice rewards. Apart from Argosy Casino, this rewards program is available at more than 30 locations across the country.
Casino guests who sign up to receive the mychoice card will instantly get $25 worth of free video slot play. You can also create an online account at mychoice.com, follow up on your reward points and get special email offers.
Members climb the five tiers — Choice, Advantage, Preferred, Elite and Owners Club — by collecting tier points. You do so by playing the casino’s games, placing bets at the sportsbook or ordering food and beverages at participating restaurants.
The same goes for collecting comp points. You can redeem comp points for special benefits, such as hotel credit, dining credit, retail credit and free play on slot machines and table games.
Mychoice includes a social online casino where you can play some of the most popular video slot titles for free.
Illinois allows sportsbooks to operate in land-based casinos. Argosy Casino hosts a state-of-the-art sports betting venue where you can watch and bet on your favorite sports events.
You can legally sports bet in Illinois on football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, boxing, MMA, tennis, cricket, rugby, cycling and auto racing. Both professional and collegiate games are available, and you can place bets on singles, parlays, point spreads, over/under and more.
The sportsbook is next to the Hops House, where you can enjoy a beer while watching the game. It has multiple viewing stations, 14 betting kiosks, a monitor that displays all the odds and 30 large HD TVs. The sportsbook is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
Unlike many other Illinois casinos, Argosy doesn’t have a dedicated poker room where you can play cash games and participate in poker tournaments. Nevertheless, you can get a taste of some poker action by playing against the dealers. The two poker games available are Ultimate Texas Hold’em and three-card poker.
You can also try out 21+3, a poker-blackjack hybrid game. Moreover, the casino has a nice selection of single-player video poker games.
Since it’s on a riverboat, Argosy Casino does not offer accommodation. Nevertheless, the casino is in the most popular part of Alton, so there are plenty of nearby hotels.
The closest rooms you can book are just a couple of streets away, courtesy of Tiffany Inn Bed & Breakfast. For something a little more elegant, you can visit the Beall Mansion, a three-star hotel with free Wi-Fi. Other notable hotels in the area include:
Argosy Casino Alton hosts several dining options. You can eat at the buffet, grab a beer with your friends at the bar or enjoy the privacy of the VIP lounge.
The Argosy Gaming Company opened Argosy Casino in Alton in 1991. The casino started as a riverboat named Alton Belle, as Illinois law required casinos to cruise the river instead of being docked. At first, Alton Belle featured around 300 slot machines and 22 tables. Then, in 1993, it was replaced by Alton Belle II, which was much larger.
Even though the state law allowed casinos to be docked in 1999, Argosy Casino chose to stay on a boat. In 2004, the Argosy Gaming Company was acquired by Penn National Gaming, a gaming corporation that still owns and runs the casino.
Argosy was temporarily closed a couple of times due to the flooding of the Mississippi River — the last time was in the spring of 2019. The casino was also closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak but it reopened in late summer.