Located in Inglewood, California, Hollywood Park Casino is part of the Hollywood Park Racetrack, and is located just outside of Los Angeles. On race day the area can be an absolute madhouse, but most of the time Hollywood Park is easy to get in and out of and is no different than any other California card-room.
History of Hollywood Park Casino
Hollywood Park opened in July of 1994, and when it did it became the first casino located at a racetrack in the United States. With their proximity to LA, and a number of celebrity sightings, the casino and the racetrack thrived for over a decade, but in recent years the economic downturn has hit the casino pretty hard.
Hollywood Park took the economic downturn head-on, and in 2011 the casino underwent a major renovation, upgrading the design and décor of Hollywood Park.
Hollywood Park hit another speed bump in 2013 when California nearly stripped the casino of their license due to California law that prohibits casino operators from having a stake in a casino in another state—the owner of Hollywood Park, Stockbridge Capital Group LLC, also owns a share of the Sahara Hotel (Reopening as SLS Las Vegas in Fall 2014) in Las Vegas.
Fortunately the casino was not shutdown in 2013, as legislatures gave the casino a reprieve, saving some 600 jobs and keeping the Hollywood Park’s doors open for business. Hollywood Park is under new management.
Hollywood Park Casino today
Hollywood Park is located right of the highway, so getting there is fairly easy; however, the surrounding area is not what I would call “inviting.” Fortunately, Hollywood Park is cordoned off from the surrounding areas and as long as you remain on the casino property it’s quite safe, and because of its proximity to LA it does attract quite a few celebrities.
With over 50 poker tables Hollywood Park spreads a wide assortment of games and stakes, and is one of the larger poker rooms you will enter. The room has good wifi and cell service, TV’s, tableside food and beverage service, and also offers a phone-in waitlist.
In addition to their poker room, Hollywood Park also offers live entertainment options ranging from boxing matches to concerts on site. There are on site dining options as well as spa and shopping services available as well.
Where They Stand Now in the Poker World
It’s not a go-to card-room by any stretch of the imagination but Hollywood Park does have one of the better daily/weekly/monthly tournament schedules you’ll find. All in all, it’s a solid card-room with decent offerings for both cash game and tournament players.
Just about any cash game imaginable can be found at Hollywood Park (depending on interest of course) but Holdem is king here, just as it is everywhere else. Standard limits go up to $40/$80 for limit cash games and $5/$10 for No Limit games although larger games are available upon request.
The casino doesn’t attract much in the way of major tournament series, but that’s not really a problem considering their robust daily schedule that I alluded to above. For instance, on the first and second Friday of the month the casino hosts a $12,000 guarantee tournament, and there are over $200,000 in guarantees given away every month.
The Hollywood Park Players Club offers decent comps, with players receiving somewhere between $.30 and $1 in comp points per hour played, depending on the stakes.
Another nice perk at Hollywood Park is a $2 charge for any menu item for players who play $10/$20 and above
Handicapping Their Chances for Online Poker
Hollywood Park is ready, willing and able to get behind an online poker bill in California.
Hollywood Park was a member of the short-lived California Online Poker Association (COPA) and is also a member of the California Gaming Association, which has also come out in favor of online gambling expansion on behalf of its members.
Hollywood Park could be a very interesting player if California passes online poker legislation as the site would likely attract celebrity endorsers and offer unique Hollywood themed marketing promotions—a number of movies and television shows have been filmed at Hollywood Park so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that something like a contest to appear in a movie or show could be offered.