Harrah’s Philadelphia, previously known as Harrah’s Chester, is a casino that is located just a few minutes outside of downtown Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. The casinos was known as Harrah’s Chester from its opening in September, 2006 until 2012 when it changed to its current moniker. The name change was implemented in an effort to achieve easier customer recognition since the major city of Philadelphia was more identifiable than the small city of Chester in which it is technically located.
Though the casino originally launched as a race track with horse betting only on September 10, 2006, it soon added slot machines, just a few weeks after it first went live. From there, table games were added nearly three years later in 2010. Today, Harrah’s Philadelphia is one of the most well-known and active casinos in the area, featuring a wide variety of table games, slots, a racebook, and a WSOP poker room located adjacent to the racebook and entrance to the race track itself.
The table games area of Harrah’s Philadelphia is much like what you would find in any major casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Virtually every imaginable game can be found on the gaming floor. Since Pennsylvania does not have any particularly noteworthy gaming restrictions on how table games are run, you will find the same odds and procedures at all of the table games as you would be entitled to in Las Vegas.
The primary casino staples are where you will find the majority of the betting action at Harrah’s PHL. Craps, blackjack, roulette and their popular variations can be found jam packed on weeknights and weekends alike. While many residential and standalone casinos can experience somewhat slow levels of activity, regular players at Harrah’s Philadelphia will notice that the flow of activity is pretty heavy.
One of the best parts of playing at this particular casino is that drinks are complimentary. This is something that other casinos in the Pennsylvania area will often times charge for as a result of their near monopolistic placement on the map. Whether you are playing regular table games or playing video poker at the bar, you will be privy to comped drinks from the casino.
The poker room at Harrah’s is one the most active in the immediate area, second only to the action you will find at PARX in nearby Bensalem. While we would not rank this room as the top in the area, the reason is simply because less tables and games are available.
In terms of promotions, staff, rake and competition, the WSOP Poker Room at Harrah’s Philadelphia has a lot to offer. In the past they have been noted for their unwillingness to pay players who participated in “Guaranteed Prize Pool” poker tournaments, but it seems that they have put this behind them and have a steady following of consistent players.
Horse Racing and Betting
Since Harrah’s Philadelphia has its own race track, visitors can view the events free of charge, whether they are placing bets or not. This is one of the few areas of the casino where the age requirement of 21 is not in place. The race track and the racebook where bets can be placed are both located right next to the poker room.
If you have a little bit of free time or simply want to check out a live horse race in person, this is one of the best options available in the Central Pennsylvania area.
Slots and Machines
The slots selection at Harrah’s is extremely diverse. We can admit that Harrah’s is not generally an industry leader across the board when it comes to clean layouts with expansive gaming options (at other CET properties), but this specific location is an exception to the rule. Just as the play is plentiful at the tables, so to is it in the slots areas. Young and old players alike can be found day and night on the upper floor or the casino where the slot machines are located.
If you are looking to have a few drinks, there are machines also available at the bar, much like you would be accustomed to in a major gaming destination. Video poker is the primary game available, but a select few slots games can also be found if this is what you are most interested in.
Since promotions are always coming and going, and often times depend on your particular player level and activity with the casino, it is tough to generalize what promotions are always available. With that said, at this moment, for example, a $5,000 Blackjack tournament takes place every Thursday, a $6,500 Slot tournament runs on each Tuesday, and new members of the casino (Total Rewards program) are able to earn up to $500 in free play. Beyond all of this, Harrah’s Philadelphia leverages its ownership of other casinos and hotels in Atlantic City by offering unique and discounted rooms and trips to AC when you play in Philadelphia.
If you play at Harrah’s Philadelphia, you should expect to receive targeted promotions and invites to the casino on a regular basis. These offers include everything from free slot and table games play to credits for dining and gifts. There is no arguing that promotions are ever changing and always in season at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Dining and Bars
There are several dining options within the casino. If you are after a quick drink and some basic food options, Philly Tap and Tavern will meet your needs. This bar and restaurant is located on the middle floor near the primary table games area. While the pricing can be a little on the expensive side, comps and credits, in additional to player points can be used to help cut down on the bill.
In addition to Tap and Tavern, visitors looking for Asian food can check out Mien Noodles,which is located on the same level. Krispy Kreme (donuts) and Tony Luke’s (Cheesesteaks), and Caffe Napoli (Italian) are all quick and affordable options available in the casino.
The only “fine dining” option at Harrah’s Philadelphia is The Cove. The primary selling point of this destination is found in its menu and the views that seating offers. Guests of The Cove will be able to take a look at the horse track and the river while they are having dinner.
Hotel and Accomodations
Unfortunately, Harrah’s Philadelphia does not currently have its own hotel. With that said, there are a handful of different options available within the city of Chester. If you do not wish to stay in Chester, the next best option will be to see what is available in Philadelphia itself.
Since the city is so close nearby, the drive required to get to your hotel and back, either by cab or driving yourself, is only going to be 10-15 minutes in most cases.