Review: Terre Haute Casino Resort and Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

May 24, 2024
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Terre Haute Casino Resort vs. Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Gaming America's Laura Mack reviews each property.

Gaming America recently paid a visit to two Indiana casinos, one that recently opened and one that was recently updated. In this deep dive into what Terre Haute Casino Resort and Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino have to offer, one must rise victorious in this casino match-up... When it comes to quality casinos in Indiana, Hoosiers have their pick of some great gambling spots, where they can kick back, relax and enjoy their game of choice.

Indiana currently offers its residents access to 13 casinos within its borders. Two of these, Terre Haute Casino Resort and Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, offer gaming experiences that rival what Las Vegas has to offer. So, let’s take a look at how these two square up in a casino faceoff... Gaming America recently visited the Hoosier State’s latest addition, Terre Haute Casino Resort, on opening day. The destination officially welcomed its first patrons on April 5 after a public celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Prior to the debut, the casino held a soft opening, which allowed select guests and staff to preview CDI’s newest entertainment destination. Terre Haute offers its guests 1,000 slot machines, 35live table games, a sportsbook and a poker room within its 400,000 square feet of gaming space. 

On the other hand, Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, which is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment, now sports an updated casino floor – plus additional dining features that are conveniently located near the action.

Caesars recently wrapped up a project that brought the facelift to the site’s casino floor. The pricetag on the renovations totaled $40m, the largest investment on property updates that Caesars has spent since the company acquired the Madison County casino in 2018. 

The development expanded Hoosier Park’s gaming and dining space. Other added features include new signage, updated lighting and new carpet throughout the gaming floor. Hoosier Park now houses more than 1,450 slot machines, 40 tables, a sportsbook and a high limit room, which has been expanded to offer high rollers access to more table games and a bar area.

We will consider several categories for the coveted title of winner in this matchup, including cleanliness, dining, look and layout, variety of games and other amenities. Let’s get right to it.

Terre Haute’s casino earns points based on several factors. This casino is smoke free, a benefit for nonsmokers but not so much for those who like to enjoy a cigarette during game play. Smoking is permitted at Anderson’s Hoosier Park location. However, the Madison County location grabs points for its diligent effort to keep the casino floor clean and the ash trays empty.

Hoosier Park scores again for the number of easily accessible hand sanitizing stations spread out on the casino floor. This is something I do not remember seeing in Terre Haute’s casino. This was a close battle, but because it is smoke free, Terre Haute wins the category for the cleaner casino out of the two. 

First point – THCR.

Complete with class casino carpeting and brilliant lighting – it brings Vegas to Indiana. This is a major plus because Vigo County residents, as well as those passing through, can have the look and feel of a Vegas Casino without having to travel cross country. This virtue earns THCR several points. 

But the recent updates to Hoosier Park’s casino floor give it a modern look and feel. Caesars added features that include new signage, updated lighting and new carpet throughout the gaming floor.

Hoosier Park also gains points for the open floor plan and wide aisles on the gaming floor, giving it the visual category win.

The score is tied, for now.For the category of dining, Terre Haute emerged victorious based on several features. The first was variety and availability. The site has nine food and beverage options not far from the main gaming floor. Among those is Four Cornered Steakhouse, which is a regionally inspired restaurant, and the Altitude Bar and Lounge.

Unfortunately, Hoosier Park’s dining options are limited if you plan to spend the majority of your time in the casino, as the site has one sit-down steakhouse located in the racing section.

Caesars added more dining options on the casino floor as part of the recent update. Hoosier Park’s casino now offers players a Dash Café and Slice Pizzeria, both with reasonably priced menu items that include American cuisine staples like pizza, burgers, hot dogs, chili fries, deli favorites and breaded tenderloin sandwiches, which are a regional classic. 

An individual meal does not have to break the bank with these dining options. One person can enjoy a satisfying meal for $8 to $15. Guests can also save money on drinks by taking advantage of the complimentary soda machine, located in the middle section of the casino floor. 

The complimentary drink station near the food court had plenty of options as well, including tea, lemonade, diet and regular soda, along with ice water.The restaurant section of the casino now includes a spacious sitting area, for those who might need a break between sessions. Caesars added space for several two and four-person tables along the windows.  However, these two restaurant options did not outweigh the larger selection Terre Haute’s casino had to offer. Two to one.

Another plus for Terre Haute was the location of its complimentary drink station, which is on the outer edge of the casino floor. This oasis is conveniently located close to the cashier’s station and is great because players can take a quick break for a soda, water or tea at their leisure. 

Despite how busy the casino was on opening day, no one had to wait in line long for drinks here. Terre Haute was also surprisingly easy to navigate despite the size of the casino.

Overhead signs clearly pointed the way throughout the gaming floor, an advantage to those who are visiting the casino for the first time. 

But walkways there are narrow, which gives Anderson’s casino the win for which casino is easier to navigate. Tied again! Hoosier Park also wins the parking category, thanks to recent Caesars updates. Caesars restructured the parking lot to provide space for “ample accessible parking.” The operator said it kept veterans and players with disabilities in mind when developing the outdoor updates.

Still, Terre Haute grabs the amenities category because its facility has an accompanying resort. So we are back to being tied! Unfortunately, the hotel portion of THCR was not yet ready for patrons when we visited, but the hotel side of the facility opened May 15. The hotel features 122 luxury rooms, a hotel pool, rooftop lounge and coffee shop. 

Hoosier Park’s new high-limit room had an assortment of old-school slots and current favorites, along with table games. However, this area fell short when it came to variety.

High rollers have games like Double Top Dollar and Dragon Link available, but the high limit room had several duplicate machines. Though the expanded main gaming floor brought with it several new slot machines as part of the recent update, many of the games are duplicates. This is one drawback for those who might be looking for slot machine variety. One example of multiple duplicate machines is Buffalo Ascension.

Yet fans of this slot more than likely will not have to wait for a seat because Hoosier Park’s casino has nearly a dozen of these machines sprinkled throughout the casino floor. 

Other games like Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel were a little harder to find. The Anderson casino has this game, but only two machines, which were often occupied by Wicked Wheel aficionados. Hoosier Park also has a couple of versions of the standard Wicked Wheel game, including the Phoenix and Panda variations.

Hoosier Park pays homage to several old-school slots, as well. There was no shortage of classic three and five-reel slot machines like Triple Diamond Stars and Diamond Gold on the gaming floor. 

But there can only be one winner – and in this faceoff, overall, THCR managed to pull away in this race for pole position between the top two. 

Congratulations, Terre Haute!

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