Chicago Area Sports Betting Scene: Day 3 - Winning!
For the 3rd day of our trip, we travel further into Indiana than any man has before. We hit up both Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago and the FanDuel Sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino. The latter was about 50 miles from our hotel in Downtown Chicago. We had a blast, bet on some college football, and enjoyed some of the sights that Indiana has to offer.
The day actually kicked off around midnight at Dublin’s Bar and Grill in the Gold Coast. We met up with a friend and advisor who lives in Chicago and it ended up being a late night. Safe to say the next day we were moving pretty slow. After a few cups of coffee, a bagel from Corey’s NYC Bagel Deli, and a few ibuprofen, we pulled it together and rented a car for our trip deep into Indiana.
I’m On a Boat
Stop 1 - Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago: About 20 miles from downtown Chicago, partially in a boat sitting on Lake Michigan, lies the Ameristar Casino. This is the spot that hosted the inaugural Indiana sports bet placed by the one and only Mike Ditka.
Walking in, the first thing you see is the sportsbook to your left and a sports bar on your right. It’s not your traditional sportsbook, more like a window of sports tellers and kiosks. I quickly realized you make your bets at the window, then head on over to the sports bar to watch the games. Mission accepted.
There was a line, but it moved very quickly; it took maybe 5 minutes to make a bet. The teller was very friendly, helpful, and reminiscent of the old-time bookmakers you see in Vegas. I don’t remember what games I parlayed, but I know I lost pretty quickly. After placing the bet, we walked around the casino a bit. It was several stories of slot machines with very few windows, if any. Pretty sure we were on the boat at that point.
Sports Bar Meet Sportsbook
We returned to the sports bar across from the book, Stadium Sports Bar and Grill. It was a pretty standard sports bar, with more TVs than you could count, and access to any game you would like to watch. Just make sure to let the hostess know what game you would like to watch so they can seat you in the right spot. From here, we enjoyed some college football and got some much-needed hydration. Then it was off to Stop 2 – FanDuel Sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino.
Michigan City, Is That a Nuclear Cooling Tower, or Are You Just Happy to See Us?
On the way into Michigan City, Indiana you are greeted by what looks like the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant from The Simpsons. Turns out it’s just a cooling tower for a coal and natural gas power plant, but you could have fooled me. Anyway, we drove by this thing as we headed towards FanDuel Sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino. No big deal.
The Blue Chip Casino is hoppin’ on a Saturday night for an area that we assumed was not too populated. As we walk in, again we are greeted by the sportsbook. FanDuel has fully branded this book, with a restaurant called “The Game” attached. There are both tellers and kiosks; the book offers stadium-style seating seen in traditional sportsbooks. It was pretty awesome. There was even a wasted guy that looked like Billy Bob from Varsity Blues who was about to get tossed out. A perfect atmosphere for sports and sports betting!
We planned on catching the late games back in Chicago, so instead of betting through the tellers, I opted to use the FanDuel Online Sportsbook. This app is available anywhere in the state of Indiana, so if I happen to hit, it would be a short drive to cash out the following day.
Runnin’ With the Devils
I parlayed the following games:
- Arizona State +13 vs Oregon – Its upset time, let’s do this!
- Bet against rival U of A by taking Utah -23.5
- The Suns vs Timberwolves game was in the 3rd quarter, but that was no problem. I was able to take an “in-game” spread of Suns -2.5 to complete this parlay. Luckily, the spread adjusted to -1.5 as I was making this bet. This turned out to be key for me.
We headed back to Chicago and enjoyed some beers while watching these west coast games. The Suns hit, winning by 2. Then the Sun Devils shocked the college football world by upsetting the Ducks. Finally, the Wildcats took a huge beating against the Utes, completing my home team parlay and making me a $150 winner.
The next morning, we made a quick trip to Indiana to get gas and collect my winnings. The money went right back into my PayPal account, no problem. Then we returned the car and enjoyed some Bears football from a solid local sports bar called Stocks and Blondes. All in all a very successful trip, deep into Indiana, to check out the available sports betting options nearby.
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