Tales from the Horseshoe Casino

I simply wanted to see Miss Saigon herself, Lea Salonga, perform at The Venue.

Instead, I left with a headache and heartburn.

After last night’s nightmare of an experience, I’m fairly certain Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana is where people go to die.

I’ve never been to Vegas, let alone a casino, so I went there thinking it would be all sorts of loud, glitzy, tacky fun. A cocktail, some slots, peruse the buffet, people watch, see a show.

Instead, the moment my friend and I walked into the building, our eyes immediately started watering from the overwhelming smell of cigarettes. And we weren’t even in the main area yet, where were were greeted with, literally, a sticky haze of smoke. I think everyone there had a fag in their mouth, ‘cept these two fags.

Quite simply: it was unbearable.

But that was just the beginning.

We wander around trying to find food, as we’re famished. We follow the signs to the buffet, get in line, and are told the buffet is at capacity until, get this: 8:45. It’s 6pm. Is there any other place to eat, we ask? Yes, there’s a steakhouse up some stairs, around a corner, down a hall, etc.

So, we walk through the crowds and smoke clouds to the steakhouse. Along the way, we find a nice looking restaurant, and go in. We’re briskly turned away because we aren’t “diamond members.” Whatever that means. But we have money and are willing to pay for our dinner? Nope, not good enough. So we find the steakhouse, and we’re told, again, they’re fully booked until … 8:45.

Is there ANY PLACE to eat here, we ask again. Oh, there’s a sports bar, we’re told. Just down the hall, around a corner, up some stairs, etc.

We stumble, weak and wheezing, to this sports bar. But first, I need a fucking cocktail. Stat. So, I see a drink stand. Rum and Coke, please.

“Sorry, sir, we don’t have any ice right now.”


I’m just about losing it at this point.

Eventually, we find the sports bar, and — lo and behold — there’s a table for two that’s just opened up. It still has food and drinks on it from the previous guests, so, taking matters into our own hands, we bus it ourselves and wait 15 minutes for a server to come by and weakly offer to wipe down the sticky tabletop. Which she never does. A cold ruben sandwich, an overcooked hamburger, soggy fries and a few weak drinks later, we go to The Venue to see Ms. Salonga do her thang.

At this point, Salonga better f-ing bring it to make up for this debacle.

Unfortunately, no such luck.

Our seats are shit, the flashing cameras and numerous latecomers interrupt, and, unfortunately, the concert just really isn’t that great. She’s phoning it in, and the cheesy synthesized orchestrations do nothing to help. Also, her “patter” between songs flips between condescending/smug to full-out lame.

It’s all just too much. We leave way (way) before curtain call.

Never again, Horseshoe Casino. Never again.

8 thoughts on “Tales from the Horseshoe Casino

  1. Ugh. Thanks for the warning. I’ve been tempted by artists at The Venue (awful name) before, but clearly, whoever it is, it ain’t worth it. Thanks for the warning, and may your next three shows be good to make up for it.

    1. Yes, unless you want your clothes and hair to smell like cigarettes for days afterwards, avoid, avoid, avoid.

  2. All the acts they get into the Kewadin Casinos in Michigan are the “stars” from the 50’s 60’s. Tom jones etc.

  3. How were the ushers at The Venue…I understand that they have a legendary and very pioneer-ish training program in customer service?

    1. Glad to help. Maybe if you ate beforehand and zipped right in and right out for the show only, it would be bearable? But, personally, no performer will ever draw me to this place again. I don’t care of they resurrect Judy Garland for one night only at The Venue.

      I’m tellin’ you: I’m not going.

  4. Good Lord what a nightmare. How much were your tickets? I love casinos and the smoking kills me especially when I am playing a slot and having a great time only for a CIGAR Smoker to come and sit next to me.

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