Deep Freeze Prompts IL Casino Closure

In a move that if not unthinkable was at least highly unlikely, a Chicago area casino was forced to close its doors because it was just too cold outside.

Hollywood Casino located in Joliet, Illinois, decided that it could not remain open due to the intensely cold weather resulting from a so-called “Polar Vortex” that saw wind chills dip to about fifty degrees below zero in the nation’s midsection.

The weather story has been the main topic in the media this week, and for good reason, as it has caused many Americans to remain indoors to escape life-threatening temperatures.

It was that danger that caused Hollywood Casino’s closure, said the web site

Property closed on Sunday

Though the worst of the deep freeze – a situation that prompted some to refer to the city of Chicago as “Chiberia” – occurred on Monday, the casino took the pre-emptive measure of shutting its doors on Sunday.

The first week of the new year has not only brought the coldest temperatures that the nation has seen in more than two decades, but last week saw much of the nation blanketed in freshly fallen snow.

That snowy weather has been attributed with helping boost signups at New Jersey online casino and real money Internet poker sites, as Garden State residents hunkered down at home to ride out the brutal conditions.

Back in Illinois, when asked if he could recall the Hollywood Casino ever turning off the lights because of cold weather, longtime employee Joseph Fernander said, “A long time ago, maybe 20 years ago.”

The casino was expected to re-open on Tuesday, when temperatures were expected to soar to around zero fahrenheit.

Warmer weather expected later in the week

And while the nation’s third largest city is no stranger to inclement weather and boasts a population that tends to be largely unfazed by even the stormiest storms, iciest ice, and coldest of cold snaps, Monday’s record breaking high temperature of sixteen below zero proved to be a little bit too much for most people to take.

Like the casino, many businesses, schools, and other workplaces were closed on both Monday and Tuesday as travel conditions remained difficult if not downright hazardous.

But would-be gamblers, some of whom were turned away from the frozen tundra that was the Hollywood Casino’s parking lot, need not despair. Wednesday is expected to be considerably warmer.

With a high of sixteen degrees, which for some midwesterners practically constitutes shorts weather, the casino should be up and running and everything should be returned to normal.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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