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Grand Victoria Casino-Elgin, IL

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Hotels & Casinos' started by WINGSFAN2012, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    I would love to see some posts on the once #1 Casino in the Chicagoland area......

    Back in its glory days of the 90's and early 00's this Casino north of Chicago packed them in. 2 floors of riverboat casino containing a ton of Blackjack tables, 8 Craps tables including one as soon as you walked on board. Even weekday's you could hardly move at this riverboat casino. The staff was largely non-friendly and they did not have to be overly nice as again the place was always packed........

    Then two things happened.....the housing crash of the mid 00's that hit the area hard and the opening of Rivers Casino Des Plaines (minutes away from the world's busiest airport and the convention/hotel hub of Rosemont, IL). These two events have caused as of the latest numbers from the state, a nearly 2/3 drop in attendance at Grand Victoria. The drop in attendance and revenue caused the "Grand Vic" to redesign....the riverboat has now become a land based "barge". The number of blackjack tables dropped by nearly a half, the Craps tables dropped from 8 to 4 to now just 2. With more space now on the main floor, they brought in more higher $$ slots. About the only positive for the player is they did redesign and upgrade their restaurants and buffet. The buffet for lunch and dinner is now a reasonable price during the week.

    I now go to Grand Victoria about once a month as I have family that lives nearby. I go there expecting the Craps tables to be $10.00 and maybe with only one of them open. When I was there last month, I was lucky enough to hit a hot table and walked in with $150.00 and walked out with over $600.00. I am hoping next week to repeat that feat......

    Share some stories about "Grand Vic" either from its glory days or currently................
     
  2. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    Did that used to be the Empress?

    Before Wisconsin had casinos, my first non-Nevada gambling was at the Empress. In the days before online ticket "brokers", my buddy was a broker and bought a zillion tickets for Cincinnati Reds home games in the 1995 World Series... in which the Reds did not participate. I drove down to Cinti with him to get refunds on the tickets, and with thousands of dollars in his pocket he drove right to the boat.

    All I remember about that is playing Caribbean Stud poker with a humpback dealer with the longest fingers I've ever seen.

    And if the Grand Victoria wasn't previously the Empress... well, I still like to tell stories.
     
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  3. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    Yeah no, it has always been Grand Victoria Elgin since day 1...but good story lol

    Now I could be wrong here but I think the Empress was going to be the failed Rosemont Casino project that 20 years later eventually became Rivers Casino Des Plaines.........
     
  4. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    Empress was in Joliet. It's gone now
     
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  5. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    Just did some internetting. The Empress burned down in 2009 and was rebuilt as the Hollywood Casino Joliet.
     
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  6. Kirby

    Kirby Tourist

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    Empress actually Burned down and now Hollywood Casino is on the property.
     
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  7. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Empress was changing to Hollywood anyway and the fire happened during the renovations.
     
  8. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Grand Victoria is, well, there.

    There are better ones within an easy drive. Harrah's Joliet comes to mind immediately. Grand Victoria is, however, better than (_GAG_) Rivers.
     
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  9. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    As I have stated earlier, if it wasn't for the $5 craps table in mornings and early afternoons, I would not go to Rivers. I have had some good luck on those 9am sessions. A lot of regulars at the time who take their Craps very seriously but have fun when it is a hot table....
     
  10. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    I am meeting family at Grand Victoria late this afternoon for a Craps session. I know it will be $10 tables but we shall see. My last session as I stated earlier was very profitable due to a hot shooter.........
     
  11. dankyone

    dankyone VIP Whale

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    Grand Vic is pretty bad. My parents live nearby. Small place, surly staff, very miserable local clientele. There is not really a fun atmosphere there anymore except on a Saturday night.

    They do have decent BJ games and full pay single line VP at the $5 level. S17 blackjack is dealt in the “high limit” room where there is usually a $50 min table. There are a handful of local higher limit players who hang out at a $200 table. Cheap drinks are available in a jurisdiction where comped drinks are not allowed. There is a VIP lounge with decent, free food all day which is fairly easy to qualify for.

    Food comps are very easy, given out like candy if you ask. They have no hotel and can’t comp alcohol so they give away the food. The steakhouse is low quality, especially for the Chicago area, but the burger place is quite good for what it is. Buffet is marginal.

    If they had a hotel I think they would do better in terms of drawing people out from Chicago, but at this point they mostly have low limit local degenerate slot players.
     
  12. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    Went on Wednesday, two $10.00 Craps tables open (the only two they have left). One was completely empty so I went to the one that had a crowd and 2 out of 3 shooters was "7 out" right after a point was hit....My one roll was good as I did not even hit my 4 point but threw about 15 times and was up to $36.00 on my 6 and 8.......all in all pretty empty for a Wednesday evening and I left down over $100.00........rough night....quick "7 outs" will kill anyone's bankroll..........
     
  13. cjcjcj

    cjcjcj Low-Roller

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    Grand Victoria sucks....LOL

    Buffet is sub-par, I only go there 2x a month for my free buffets from having Bronze GVC club status. Freeplay/powerpoint offers stink...

    Craps tables are filled with a bunch of slow-ass players or don't players who consistently root against the shooter...$10 minimum but 100x odds...

    Slots suck ...


    I prefer Rivers when in the area. Slots suck but at least you can usually get on the $5 craps table at off times... Host sometimes comps Hugos.
     
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  14. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    Yeah, not sure Elgin is ever really $5.00 for Craps........did not have any don't players but the Craps staff was friendly but mostly slow and busy with all their "in jokes"..........
     
  15. Grid

    Grid VIP Whale

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    Grand Vic is shit. If you live near by and need to gamble, I guess it serves its purpose. It is not a barge. Blue Chip casino in Michigan City Indiana is a barge. You wouldn't even know you were on water when you walk in there.Grand Vic is the same old riverboat, just permanently moored now.

    It was set up to just be a casino. No list of dining options beyond a few. No hotel. Nothing to do or see near there at all. And you are limited to the shit Illinois rules of gambling with just 1,200 positions. You can have 1200 slots. Or 900 slots and 300 seats for table games. No matter how you slice it, they will always suck. And the fact that they suck means no one is really investing any money in them.

    Rivers steals people from downtown and the lofty dollars of the North Side of Chicago. Not all that many regulars but still a steady stream of people in town for conventions or waiting to fly out of one of the worlds busiest airports.

    So who else does the tiny Grand Vic have to compete with? The Horseshoe just outside of downtown has a 350,000 SQFT casino. Over 3,000 slots and over 100 tables. To the South, even the Harrahs in Joliet has a hotel and the lure of Route 66 with plenty of little attractions to visit.

    Head North and you are at the Pottawatomie in Milwaukee. A huge full blown resort with all of downtown Milwaukee at your feet.

    I have been to the Grand Vic a handful of times with friends. Passing by or near there doing something else. I dont see the draw at all unless you live across the street.

    As a Chicago gambler, I'd just assume spend the 75 minutes it would take to get to Four Winds in Michigan then the 45 minutes it would take to get to the Grand Vic.

    And if I wanted to gamble locally, I'd do so at Harrahs and earn points for Vegas. Maybe even side trip to Hollywood, which is only 10 minutes away from there.
     
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  16. Eleven99isFine

    Eleven99isFine High-Roller

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    So I finally visited. Likely the only visit I'd make, since the slots were just ridiculously tight and Elgin is not exactly convenient to me.
    I did see one handpay but that was it.

    In terms of slot selection, I'd say above average for certain titles. They had a pretty good selection of non-video 3-reel classics, probably around 40-50% of the place.
    Tons of Wonder 4 Jackpots/Wheel/Tower options. Enough for everyone and then some.
    Found Wicked Winnings 2 / 4 terminals, but no Wicked Winnings 3.
    They even had a corner with Godfather, Old Wonka, and Lord of the Rings machines (one of each).
    A small number of old video slots but they were mainly high limit machines.
    Chairs were very close together -- I can't imagine squeezing through when the place is crowded.
    Didn't see any violent button slappers but there was a button musician or two, as expected.

    I'm guessing no real food options other than the buffet.. and of course, no hotel.
    I asked if they did players card matching with other programs and they said 'no' because ElDorado bought them and maybe that's not allowed.
    Interesting that there was a poker-only status level.
     
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  17. Calder

    Calder Low-Roller

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    Geez, how'd I miss this a couple months ago?

    To paraphrase Woody Allen, "The food is terrible, but at least the portions are large."
     
  18. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    I will be back next Monday for some AM Craps playing on my day off....It has been 2 months. The buffet is decent with a good variety......however the vibe at times is "quiet or down"- not good for a casino anywhere!
     
  19. WINGSFAN2012

    WINGSFAN2012 High-Roller

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    How crowded was it and what day/time did you go?
     
  20. Eleven99isFine

    Eleven99isFine High-Roller

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    I was there last Friday around 2pm. Not too crowded, maybe about half full at best. People were streaming in around 4pm when I was leaving.
     
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