The Ameristar Casino & Sportsbook Review

The Hoosier State of Indiana entered the gambling industry in 1988 with the formation of the Hoosier Lottery. The state lottery co-founded the Powerball game in 1992.

But it wasn’t until 1993 when gambling took off in Indiana. The state government allowed businesses to propose casinos in different parts of the state. The move was designed to revitalize the Gary area in the northwestern part of Indiana.

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The Ameristar Casino East Chicago was one of the first casinos in the state. It was formed in 1997 in East Chicago, a town northwest of Gary near the Chicago Skyway toll road heading into Illinois and the city of Chicago.

Ameristar opened under the Showboat Mardi Gras Casino name and was bought by Harrah’s in 1998. It was then sold to Resorts a few years later and then to Ameristar, which was acquired by Pinnacle Entertainment and eventually the Penn National Gaming group in 2018.

Ameristar is a waterfront hotel and casino property at Indiana Harbor on Lake Michigan. The casino is inside the Win Star ship at the harbor and connects to a land hotel with nearly three hundred rooms.

Ameristar features hundreds of gaming machines and table games around nearly 56,000 square feet of gaming space. Ameristar also features a sportsbook that offers wagering on various sporting markets. The Ameristar sportsbook opened its doors in September 2019, shortly after sports betting became legal in Indiana.

Ameristar is a member of the MyChoice network run by Penn National Gaming. The MyChoice system features a reward program available for regular players.

What the Ameristar East Chicago Casino Offers

The odds are you’ll find a game to your liking at the Ameristar East Chicago Casino. The venue provides games for players of all interests and bankrolls.

Slots and Video Poker

Ameristar features more than 1,700 slot and video poker machines. These include games with denominations from one penny to $100 per spin.

The slots at Ameristar include an assortment of three and five-reel games. You can find games like 88 Fortunes, Tarzan, Dragon Link, and Buffalo Gold at the casino. You can also play Wonder 4 Tower, a game where you can play on up to four five-reel games at once.

Table Games

You will also find more than seventy table games at the Ameristar East Chicago Casino. You can play games like these:

  • Traditional and double-deck blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Three-card poker
  • Baccarat
  • Craps
  • EZ Pai Gow poker; this game is commission-free
  • EZ Baccarat; this is also commission-free
  • Let It Ride
  • Spanish 21
  • Caribbean stud poker

Many of the games have table minimums of $10 per round. You can wager up to $25,000 on baccarat or $10,000 on some of the other table games. You might need to ask a member of the table games team about any high-value bets you wish to place.

What Side Bets Are Open?

You can also enjoy exciting side bets at many table games. Some of the side bets include:

  • Blackjack 21+3 – You can win a bonus if the three face-up cards at the start of a blackjack hand are a straight, flush, three of a kind, or straight flush.
  • Craps Sharp Shooter – The shooter wins this side bet by establishing and making three points before rolling a seven. A player could win extra by making more points.
  • Baccarat Dragon Bonus – You’ll win if you have a natural winner or a winning hand of at least four points. A natural win entails a two-card total of eight or nine.
  • Three-Card Poker Six-Card Bonus – The six cards in a round will form the best five-card poker hand. You will win if you have a pair or greater.

The Baccarat Room

You can play games in the Baccarat Room at Ameristar. The room features nineteen baccarat tables and two Pai Gow tile tables. Players can wager as little as $10 on a hand. The maximum bet total is $25,000. The Dragon Bonus is available on most tables.

What the Ameristar Sportsbook Features

The Ameristar Sportsbook is inside the Pavilion section of the casino near the Stadium Sports Bar. The five wagering terminals are open seven days a week, plus there are twelve automated kiosks available twenty-four hours a day.

This Indiana sportsbook is surrounded by several big-screen monitors showing the latest sports action from around the world. You’ll also find plenty of screens displaying the latest odds on all upcoming events. Ameristar provides all the latest games on local networks like NBC Sports Chicago and the Marquee Sports Network. You can also see games through all the major subscription packages, including NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, and Fox Soccer Plus.

Ameristar receives its odds and lines from the DraftKings Sportsbook. DraftKings provides its odds and betting choices to casinos throughout the United States.

The sportsbook teller windows are open from 10 am to 10 pm on Mondays to Thursdays, and 9 am to 11 pm on Fridays to Sundays. You’ll have enough time to get your bets ready and to cash in your winnings, but the automated kiosks are also available if necessary.

What Can You Wager?

You can place wagers on various sports, including:

  • Football, including NFL and NCAA
  • Baseball
  • Ice hockey
  • Soccer
  • Basketball, including NBA, WNBA, and NCAA
  • Auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, and Formula 1
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Boxing, MMA, and other combat sports

You can place bets on various professional and collegiate sports events throughout Indiana or in Chicago. Whether you’re a fan of the Colts, Bears, White Sox, Cubs, Bulls, Pacers, or Blackhawks, you’ll find something worth wagering.

There are no esports bets available at Ameristar, as Indiana state law prohibits wagering on esports events. It is also illegal to place bets on events involving competitors under the age of eighteen.

What Betting Choices Are There?

You can place one of many wagers while at the Ameristar Sportsbook. The venue supports these bets:

  • Straight or moneyline bets
  • Spreads
  • Over/under
  • Parlays
  • Teasers
  • Futures

As of August 2020, Ameristar says that prop bets will be available in the future.

Using the Bet Builder

The Bet Builder is available at the Ameristar Sportsbook to help you figure out which wagers you wish to place. You can use the Bet Builder system through the Ameristar East Chicago website on your phone or tablet browser. The system lets you check on the latest bets and previews how much they will pay if you are successful.

The Bet Builder will produce a QR code based on whatever bets you wish to utilize. The code includes details on your picks and how much you will spend. A sportsbook teller will scan your code and collect your payment, giving you a live ticket for your wager. The Bet Builder makes it easier for you to find the wagers you want to place and get your preferred ticket ready.

Earning Rewards

You can play casino games and place sportsbook bets at the Ameristar Casino East Chicago and earn reward points. You’ll receive these points as part of the MyChoice rewards system. Penn National Gaming runs the MyChoice system.

You can earn reward points when you play games and place wagers with your MyChoice account. Your points will be valid towards cashback rewards or for discounted stays at various properties in the MyChoice system. These include the Hollywood Casino locations in nearby Joliet or Aurora, the Tropicana in Las Vegas, and the Greektown Casino and Hotel in Detroit.

Online Gaming At Ameristar

The Ameristar Casino East Chicago features an online casino where you can play games for fun if you can’t make it to the real place. The MyChoice Casino offers more than two hundred slots and table games to play for free.

You can log on to the MyChoice Casino with your MyChoice Rewards account. You will earn free MyChoice rewards when you play games on the online casino.

Online Sports Betting Through Ameristar

Ameristar’s partnership with the DraftKings Sportsbook lets you place bets on sporting events anywhere in Indiana through DraftKings. You can fund your DraftKings Sportsbook account at the Ameristar Casino cage.

The DraftKings Sportsbook includes mobile and desktop interfaces that help you find the wagers you want. In-game betting and wagering pools are available. Draftkings sportsbook also offers weekly and monthly Indiana sportsbook promotions to new and existing sports bettors.

Casino Amenities


You’ll find many other things to enjoy while at the Ameristar Casino East Chicago. To start, you can spend a night or two at the Ameristar Hotel. The hotel has nearly three hundred rooms and suites. The hotel features rooms with either one king bed or two queen beds. There are also accessible guest rooms with lower locks and switches, low-clearance toilets, a roll-in shower, and a five-foot diameter turning radius.

Each room includes the following:

  • 50-inch flat-screen television set
  • Microwave
  • Mini-refrigerator
  • Coffee machine
  • Storage safe
  • Wireless internet

You’ll also enjoy various other features in the hotel, including:

  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Free USA Today newspaper on weekdays
  • Ice machines on each floor
  • Soda machines on each floor and a vending machine on every third floor
  • Mail or package pick-up service
  • Fax service


You can enjoy a fine meal at one of the various restaurants at the Ameristar Casino East Chicago. Here’s a look at what’s available:

  • Heritage Buffet – The buffet offers an all-you-can-eat experience for lunch or dinner. There’s a weekly crab leg special at the buffet.
  • Stadium Sports Bar and Grill – The bar is near the sportsbook and features more than thirty television sets showing all the games.
  • Bugatti’s Steak and Pasta – The restaurant is modeled after some of Chicago’s finest steakhouses. Bugatti’s recommends reservations before visiting.
  • Burger Brothers – Try one of many burgers or shakes at this venue.
  • Noodle Bar – Enjoy a noodle dish with one of many meats or vegetables at this Asian restaurant in the baccarat room.


Can I get free drinks when playing here?

You would have to present your MyChoice rewards card to receive free drinks. You may be eligible for free drinks if you have enough reward points.

Are people under the age of 21 allowed to enter the casino?

Ameristar does not allow anyone under 21 to enter. The casino does this to ensure children are not left alone while their parents are gambling.

Can I hold a special event at the Ameristar Casino?

Ameristar has a conference space with 5,400 square feet of room for special events. The conference room has a banquet staff that provides catering. The conference area is ideal for business events, weddings, and other special occasions.