The Bear Growls: Ridiculous ripoff of suckers by Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Illinois, apparently targeting sick, addicted gamblers

Hollywood Casino

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Hollywood Casino Aurora … Last week, the property began offering a service called Reservation Blackjack. It allows gamblers to phone ahead to reserve a seat at a $5 minimum table.

There’s a price to pay: $20 per person for each hour of play. This fact complicates the economic dynamics of the game for serious players who, depending on their level of skill, can keep the theoretical house advantage on blackjack down to around one and a half percent or less.

The idea of a tiny-stakes player being asked to pay twenty dollars for the “privilege” of losing his or her money at a casino that, according to Current Blackjack News is not even offering a reasonable game of blackjack is repugnant. Hollywood’s red-chip tables have horrible eight-deck games with bad rules and awful penetration. This is taking such advantage of suckers (“good casino customers”) that it’s nauseating, even by the low standards usually set by casinos.

This ripoff reaches a disgusting new low for piggish greed by the casino bosses. I am disgusted that the Illinois Gaming Commission, which sometimes actually takes some meaningful action in cases of casino wrongdoing (unlike its worthless counterpart in Nevada), allows this. What a scam!

I am all for free enterprise; the suckers simply have to say NO to this appalling bit of casino greed. But the holders of a privileged license should be held to some minimum standards of decency and good taste. This scam falls way, way below what those standards should be. No rational tiny-stakes player would pay this fee. The casino is obviously trying to attract the sick, addicted gamblers with this scam. Shame on Hollywood Aurora.

Note: Hollywood Aurora did not respond to a request for comment.



  1. Are all these games 8 deck? And you have people paying $20 an hour for the “privilege” of playing them? Barnum was right…a “sucker is born everyday”!

    I must commend you for this blog to ‘try’ to educate these idiots and the masses…doubt that it will do any good, though, as these people don’t know any better and are so stupid that they don’t WANT TO! These are the same players that will fillup a Single Deck table that offers 6:5 blackjack payouts.

    As greedy and money-hungry the casinos are, and without their giving one iota or care for the player’s, I see their point. In a business, the object is to make a profit. If these stupid idiots are willing to play these awful games, keep putting those awful games on the casino floor.

    Ethical intent of casinos is a subject for another story!

  2. I see people playing on this table, even when there are other tables completely dead. The reservation used to be only $5 per hour, but so many people wanted to reserve a spot that even those were full and somewhere along the line got bumped way up to $20. This does not take advantage of anybody though because it is simply their choice to play it. I wish more of Bear’s posts had some factual ground to base his arguments on other than casinos are evil because they make a lot of money.

  3. >>>> “I wish more of Bear’s posts had some factual ground to base his arguments on other than casinos are evil because they make a lot of money.” <<<< To the contrary. I wish casinos made EVEN MORE money so that perhaps they wouldn’t harass brain-using patrons as much. However, I would like them to make money as honorably and ethically as possible within the ethical quagmire of their industry, rather than by taking advantage of the weak, sick, and addicted. There are plenty of patrons for whom casino gambling is relatively harmless "entertainment." Casinos can profit handsomely by treating that vast majority of patrons with respect, and earning their repeat business. Casinos do NOT have to resort to sickening ripoffs like this "reservation charge" for a sucker to play a horrible game. It is quite apparent that only sick, addicted gamblers would pay for the "privilege" of sitting at such an awful game. For the people who pay this fee, gambling has crossed the line from "entertainment" to "addiction." It is when I see casinos going out of their way to take advantage of these unfortunate folks that I get annoyed. They can make plenty of money from otherwise healthy people who simply see giving their money away as "entertainment." Casinos don’t need to go out of their way to target the sick.

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