What You Should Know About Riverboat Casinos

Riverboat casinos Mississippi

Riverboat casinos were quickly established as popular entertainment venues that combined live music, dancing and gambling into one entertainment venue. Since state gambling laws remained unclear at that time, riverboat casinos provided an effective means of increasing revenue without encouraging illegal behavior.


Today, riverboat casinos are legal in six states. If you are considering visiting one, here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision.


Riverboat casinos provide an avenue for legal gambling operations despite gambling being illegal in many nations and states; docked close to shore they operate legally while still protecting players from cheats and thieves who could take matters into their own hands if necessary. Unfortunately there have been violent incidents at riverboat casinos due to individuals taking matters into their own hands in past instances.

In 1904, the first ‘legitimate’ riverboat casino made its inaugural voyage on Lake Michigan, marking the beginning of organized commercial gambling. Since the Mississippi River borders several different states, this new form of gambling proved ideal.

As soon as they were legalized, water-based casinos became entertainment hubs with live music and dancing performances; many also enjoyed card and table gaming on these riverboats – a great way to escape America’s overpopulated cities! Even with the rise of online casinos, paddlewheel casinos still attract gamblers to their shores; currently 63 riverboat casinos operate legally in six states across America.

Games offered

Riverboat casinos vary depending on which state you’re visiting; all provide an exciting gambling experience. Some states, like Iowa, even tax winnings from these casino boats as a portion is returned back into local communities and tax collections. Casino boats typically operate regularly and make for an entertaining way to spend your day!

Riverboat casinos were once popular destinations for betting on boat races along the Mississippi River. Although such races could often be dangerous and potentially rigged to favor certain teams, they provided plenty of excitement and entertainment.

Though some states still prohibit riverboat casinos, other have approved them and allow them to be built on land if near navigable waterways. Riverboat casinos can currently be found in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri and vary in appearance; paddlewheel riverboats exist alongside buildings offering various games like slot machines and table games.


Riverboat casinos impose various taxes. In Iowa, for instance, riverboat casino owners pay 15% of adjusted gross receipts as gaming tax to fund vital state services like highway construction, education and police protection as well as provide employment to over 15,000 individuals.

River gambling first emerged during the 1800s, when river transport proved more efficient than wagons and mules at transporting goods. To alleviate boredom during long riverboat commutes, games of chance became popular pastimes on riverboats.

Indiana riverboat casinos levy admission and wagering taxes; $1 from admission tax goes directly to state and local government while half of wagering tax goes toward county governments; half goes towards supporting horse racing industry programs and initiatives. By contrast, Louisiana riverboat casinos impose an admission tax of $3 per patron admitted per gaming excursion based on a different tax base.


Riverboat casinos present an entirely different scene compared to their saloon counterparts in America, offering more refined environments in which to gamble. Many riverboat casinos boast breathtaking architecture while offering a range of activities like poker and roulette to classic slot machines and unique attractions like restaurants or music acts.

Not everyone finds riverboat casinos appealing, yet others find them stimulating. Unlike land-based casinos which are regulated by states, riverboat casinos are owned and run independently, giving their owners more autonomy in setting policies and creating unique environments.

Each state determines how many riverboat casinos it will permit; Illinois only grants ten licenses. Individuals seeking to operate riverboat casinos must meet certain criteria, such as permitting patrons to gamble from boats docked at one site; up until 1999, riverboats had to cruise during gambling activities before changing in 2000 with law allowing dockside gambling.

Riverboat Casinos in America

Riverboat CasinoLocationYear EstablishedGaming Options
Horseshoe Southern IndianaElizabeth, Indiana1998Slots, table games, poker
Ameristar CasinoVicksburg, Mississippi1994Slots, table games, poker
River City Casino & HotelSt. Louis, Missouri2010Slots, table games, poker
Argosy CasinoAlton, Illinois1991Slots, table games, poker
Lady Luck CasinoCaruthersville, Missouri1995Slots, table games
Harrah’s MetropolisMetropolis, Illinois1993Slots, table games
Hollywood CasinoLawrenceburg, Indiana2009Slots, table games, poker
Belle of Baton RougeBaton Rouge, Louisiana1994Slots, table games, poker
Diamond Jacks CasinoBossier City, Louisiana1994Slots, table games
Golden Nugget Lake CharlesLake Charles, Louisiana2014Slots, table games, poker
Treasure Chest CasinoKenner, Louisiana1994Slots, table games
L’Auberge Casino ResortLake Charles, Louisiana2005Slots, table games, poker
Isle of Capri CasinoBettendorf, Iowa1995Slots, table games
Par-A-Dice Hotel CasinoEast Peoria, Illinois1991Slots, table games
Grand Victoria Casino & ResortRising Sun, Indiana1996Slots, table games, poker
Tropicana EvansvilleEvansville, Indiana1995Slots, table games, poker
Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & SpaMichigan City, Indiana1997Slots, table games, poker
Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling HallTunica, Mississippi1994Slots, table games
Diamond Jo CasinoDubuque, Iowa1991Slots, table games
Riverside Casino & Golf ResortRiverside, Iowa2006Slots, table games
List of Riverboat Casinos in America

Exploring the Glorious Era of Mississippi Riverboat Casinos

In the heart of America, along the iconic Mississippi River, a captivating era of gambling history unfolded with the rise of Mississippi Riverboat Casinos. These floating gambling establishments not only brought excitement and entertainment to the riverbanks but also played a significant role in shaping the casino industry as we know it today. Join us on a journey back in time as we dive into the fascinating world of Mississippi Riverboat Casinos and discover their unique allure.

The Birth of Mississippi Riverboat Casinos

The concept of riverboat gambling can be traced back to the early 19th century when steamboats ruled the Mississippi River. In an attempt to bypass strict gambling regulations on land, entrepreneurial spirits transformed these steamboats into floating casinos. These magnificent vessels offered an escape from everyday life, allowing patrons to indulge in games of chance, lively entertainment, and a touch of opulence on the rolling river.

The Romantic Era of Riverboat Gambling

During the 19th century, Mississippi Riverboat Casinos flourished, reaching their pinnacle of popularity. These grand steamboats became a symbol of elegance and extravagance, evoking a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era. Passengers embarked on thrilling gambling adventures, enjoying a variety of games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, and slot machines. The allure of riverboat casinos extended beyond just gambling, as they hosted extravagant shows, live music performances, and sumptuous dining experiences.

Challenges and Regulations

Despite their allure, Mississippi Riverboat Casinos faced numerous challenges. Gambling regulations varied from state to state, and operators had to navigate a complex web of laws and restrictions. Additionally, the unpredictable nature of the river presented operational difficulties, including floods, shifting channels, and changing docking locations. However, these obstacles did not deter the spirit of the riverboat casinos, and they continued to charm and entertain guests.

The Modern Resurgence

While the golden era of Mississippi Riverboat Casinos eventually came to a close due to changing laws and the advent of land-based casinos, the spirit and legacy of these floating gambling establishments live on. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of riverboat casinos along the Mississippi River, blending nostalgia with modern amenities. Today, visitors can step aboard these beautifully restored vessels and relive the excitement and grandeur of the past.

The Best Riverboat Casinos

Riverboat casinos provide a truly unforgettable gaming experience that combines traditional gambling with sailing down a scenic river. Riverboat casinos can typically be found throughout the United States – particularly along the Mississippi and other rivers.

The Hollywood Casino (formerly Argosy Lawrenceburg ) is an award-winning riverboat casino located in Indiana that offers great slot games and an excellent hotel.

The Mississippi Belle II

As riverboat gambling returned to the Mississippi River in 1991, supporters anticipated nostalgic excursions that would transport visitors back into Mark Twain’s world. Instead, many vessels are now packed with slot machines jangling and buzzing away all day long; critics claim these casinos don’t cater to families and offer only gambling as entertainment options.

The Mississippi Belle II casino ship anchored on the Mississippi River near Clinton Iowa was an extremely popular attraction until its closure at 4am on October 10, as a destination for casino enthusiasts and visitors from all around the United States.

Mississippi Belle II was recently replaced by Wild Rose Emmetsburg riverboat casino in Clinton, Iowa, operated by Kehl Management – an award-winning company responsible for building or remodeling fifteen riverboat casinos across the U.S. It specializes in small town hospitality with big city fun to create a winning combination in gaming industry.

The Hollywood Casino

If you’re in search of an extraordinary casino, look no further than The Hollywood Casino. Boasting movie-themed decor complete with gambling tables, bingo, buffets, and piano bars; its atmosphere creates the feel of walking onto an actual film set – whether an experienced gambler or beginning ones alike will feel right at home here.

The 50,000-square-foot gaming floor at Barstool Sportsbook & Casino includes slot, table games and video poker – as well as an impressive sportsbook that’s open to both newcomers and returning clients alike. Furthermore, Barstool Sportsbook & Casino App makes it simple for customers to keep tabs on field options and make informed bet decisions.

Hollywood Casino provides world-class rewards program, in addition to numerous promotions and benefits for military members, veterans and first responders. Active duty military personnel, veterans and first responders can take advantage of PENN Heroes benefits including tier upgrades, hotel discounts and dining discounts; new PENN Play members can earn up to $100 in PENN Cash when linking their account with slot machines.

The Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut is one of the world’s premier travel and entertainment destinations, offering endless dining, shopping and entertainment. Additionally, they host some of the best concerts and live entertainment acts in their region.

Mohegan Sun employs over 8,000 local workers and generated over $1.07 billion in revenues last year. Owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe through TCA, which grants complete control to them over its facility. They contribute 25% of slot machine revenues back to Connecticut while covering costs related to crime related gambling as well as social welfare service demands in their local community.

Apart from its two casinos, this resort features luxurious hotel accommodations and world-class spas. There are also three major entertainment venues and a state-of-the-art poker room onsite; 29 dining options; world-class meeting facilities; as well as hosting the Women’s National Basketball Association Connecticut Sun team!

The River Belle

This online casino provides its users with a host of features when creating an account. These include an impressive welcome package, multiple promotions and bonus wheel. Furthermore, players can earn loyalty points from their first real-money deposit that can later be redeemed for bonus credits.

At River Belle, players will discover an expansive selection of games spanning slots, table games and video poker – not to mention one of the world’s premier progressive jackpot slots, Mega Moolah. Furthermore, Evolution Gaming hosts its live casino section. Banking options available to customers include credit and debit cards, e-wallets as well as bank transfer services; withdrawal times typically take 24-72 hours depending on which banking option they select and security encryption features are in place to safeguard players at all times – plus customer support staff are always on call to offer assistance 24/7 support!


The era of Riverboat Casinos may have faded into history, but its impact on the gambling industry and cultural heritage of the Mississippi River region remains undeniable. These floating gambling establishments not only provided excitement and entertainment but also played a significant role in shaping the modern casino landscape. Today, while we may not witness the grandeur of the past, the legacy of riverboat casinos lives on in the form of beautifully restored vessels and the memories etched in the hearts of those who experienced their charm. The Mississippi River will forever be intertwined with the golden age of riverboat gambling, a timeless reminder of an enchanting era.

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