My First Trip To The Horseshoe Cleveland

Horseshoe Casino ClevelandAfter many years, Cleveland finally has a casino!  Just last week, the Horseshoe Casino opened up downtown and so far it’s gotten rave reviews.  There were people lined up around the block to get in and there were lines to get into the place for quite a few days after it’s grand opening.  I’m not going to bother rehashing all of the political maneuvering it took to get it here.  Suffice to say it was a LONG process with quite a few battles.

I’m lucky enough to be working downtown these days, so today at lunch I took a walk down to the casino to see if I could see what all the fuss was about.  This was the first time that I’ve been down there that there WASN’T a line to get in so I was thrilled to be able to take a stroll through.

I have to say, I’m THRILLED to have this sort of attraction in Cleveland.  I love this town and to see this kind of thing tells me that hopefully we’re on the right track in terms of re-building our downtown area.  I had no intention of playing on my lunch hour, so I was really able to just kind of mosey through and take in the sights and sounds of the Horseshoe.


  • This is REAL.  This may sound kind of silly, but it struck me that this is the real deal.  With the Nautica Charity Poker tent that we’ve been subjected to for the last couple of years it was nice to see pros doing what they do.  This is truly something that Cleveland can be proud of.
  • The limits were pretty high.  I didn’t walk the entire casino floor, but the cheapest craps table I saw was $50.  Blackjack was $15 and I saw a few $10 three card poker tables.  That said, the tables were relatively fully especially for a Tuesday afternoon.
  • There were a whole SLEW of people walking around carrying oxygen.  This probably isn’t specific to Cleveland (especially on a Tuesday afternoon) but it was prevalent enough that I noticed.
  • Games.  There was a great variety of table games and a TON of slots.  I’m not a big slot player but there seemed to be quite a good selection and enough room between machines so folks aren’t going to be standing and sitting on top of one another.
  • Signage wasn’t great.  I had a hard time finding the poker room (which is on the third floor).  The signage has arrows pointing to different areas of the casino, but especially for the poker room it wasn’t clear that I needed to go UP a floor.  This may have been just me.
  • Speaking of poker… THIS is poker.  From a quick 2 or 3 minutes on the rail, I could immediately tell that the caliber of poker player was far and above that which was found at Nautica.
  • High Limit Room – this was very nice.  Not a ton of action going on when I was in there, but a nice quiet area for big time players.
  • Parking – I wasn’t parking near the casino, but I noticed quite a few garages marked as “full” which I suppose is a good thing and shows that folks are here to play.  I also noticed that the prices on those garages is quite a bit higher than it was in days past.


High Limit RoomI’ll have to write up another post once I actually make a bet or two, but my overall impression was that I’m jazzed to have the casino here in Cleveland.  I’m #Cleveland through and through and anything that can put the “Mistake On The Lake” back on the map in a GOOD way (screw you LeBron) then I’m all for it.

In closing, I have to say that Cleveland has done an outstanding job building around the Horseshoe.  Restaurants, billboards, radio and print advertising have all been touting the fact that the casino was coming (and is now here).  Whether you agreed with having a casino here in Cleveland or not it’s here and here to stay.  Horseshoe has taken a Cleveland landmark (the Higbee Building of A Christmas Story fame) and reshaped it into a true attraction.  One that quite frankly Cleveland really needed.

Have you visited the Horseshoe Casino yet?  What did you think?


4 thoughts on “My First Trip To The Horseshoe Cleveland

  1. Casinos sparked some interest in Detroit, but it also brings in new dispair — tha addicted. I hope it works out well for the Cleve.

    1. @Joe – we’ve already got plenty of despair here in C-town. I think we’ll handle a little addiction just fine 😉 But all jokes aside, do you think Detroit is better off now that it’s casino is a few years old or before it came to town?

  2. I did the same one night last week. Just walked around, checked things out and people watched. I had very similar observations. It was a Thursday night and was crowded and getting more crowded as I was leaving. And I did think to myself that Lebron may have promised to light up Cleveland like Las Vegas when he was drafted, but it took Dan Gilbert to do it. That Dan Gilbert has been very good for our city!

Leave a Reply