Harrah’s Joliet Casino Closes Its Illinois Poker Room Permanently

Written By Joe Boozell on October 21, 2020

Harrah’s Joliet Casino has permanently closed its poker room.

Most Illinois poker rooms are closed indefinitely due to COVID-19, but Harrah’s has decided to cease operations for good.

On Oct. 28, the poker room will award $427,800 in bad-beat jackpot money via a drawing. Anyone who played jackpot-eligible games between Oct. 20, 2019, and March 15, 2020, will be entered into the drawing.

Entries will be based on the total number of hours that people played during that time period.

Here’s more info from the Harrah’s official website:

“The drawing will take place on October 28, 2020. Entries are determined based on hours and minutes played during this time period. We will select 150 winners who will each receive $2,852. Winners do not need to be present to win. We will attempt to contact all winners by phone or email. In addition, we will post the list of winners below. The list of winners will also be available at Caesars Rewards. Winners will reserve a time slot to receive their payment and will have until November 30, 2020, to collect their prize. Please see Caesars Rewards for complete rules and regulations.

The statement did not provide a reason for the closure.

What the Harrah’s Joliet poker room offered

There were eight poker tables at Harrah’s Joliet, and the poker room was open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. before the pandemic.

The World Series Of Poker Room, as it was called, offered players live-action Texas Hold’em and Omaha games.

Deep Stack, Bounty, Mini-Deep and Bounty Deep Stack tournaments would take place on Saturdays.

Harrah’s also hosted a WSOP Poker League, a nine-week competition where the winner would earn a main event seat in Las Vegas. The tournament also offered weekly prizes.

Other poker rooms closed indefinitely

Prior to the Harrah’s news, six of Illinois’ 10 casinos had poker rooms:

  • Grand Victoria Casino Elgin
  • Harrah’s Joliet
  • Harrah’s Metropolis
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Jumer’s Casino & Hotel 
  • Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino

Like Harrah’s, Grand Victoria Casino Elgin is also a Caesars property.

The casinos have all been open since July, but the poker rooms are closed indefinitely. Based on how COVID-19 cases are climbing in Illinois, that likely won’t change soon.

The poker rooms have been closed since March.

That’s the case in many US regions at the moment, but a few Indiana poker rooms have reopened. Four Winds Casino South Bend’s poker room, for instance, opened on Tuesday.

The retail gambling industry continues to hurt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Dreamstime.com / serjunco bon
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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