The Empress Casino opened on June 16, 1992 as a riverboat type casino in Joliet, Illinois. The casino is on barges on the Des Plaines River in Northern Illinois. Supposedly, because of the gaming laws in the State of Illinois, you could not have gambling in the State, but riverboat gambling was permitted.
Empress was the only casino in northern Illinois to have an onsite RV park. We are now staying in this park. Penn National Gaming acquired the casino, hotel and RV park in 2005. They own the brand “Hollywood Casino.”
While undergoing a $50 Million renovation, a fire broke out at around 10 a.m. on March 20, 2009. The fire was caused by a spark from a welder’s torch which ignited grease in one of the kitchens. The subsequent fire spread rapidly. The casino was able to reopen on June 25, 2009 as the Hollywood Casino Joliet.
We stayed here for two days. I was able to win enough at blackjack to pay for Barbara’s losses, and for all of our expenses while staying here.
Kellogg, Iowa to Hollywood Casino, Illinois: 262.8 miles