Located in the Inglewood neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA stands the newly renovated Hollywood Park Casino. Originally part of the Hollywood Park Racetrack complex, Hollywood Park Casino was added to the grounds in 1994, which has since been sold and shut down as of December 2013.
Currently, the land where the complex once was is undergoing major construction and one of the first completed projects is the new building for the Hollywood Park Casino, which opened in October 2016. The casino primarily functions as a card room operating under the state of California gaming laws and also includes a sports bar and grill. Other construction projects in and around Hollywood Park include a new state-of-the-art football stadium for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, luxury hotels, new housing and a movie theatre.
Hollywood Park Casino is less than 2 miles from the iconic Forum in Inglewood, which was once home to the Los Angeles Lakers franchise and now functions as a multi-purpose indoor arena owned by the Madison Square Garden Company.
Due to its central location, the casino attracts a diverse crowd ranging from casual to serious players. Many of the patrons at this casino are often less professional and not very mindful of gaming protocol. The atmosphere of the casino tends to lean more towards that of a party than a traditional casino. DJs and other guest hosts are frequently on the card at Hollywood Park.
If you are visiting Hollywood Park Casino, expect to play alongside amateur players. While lower limit games typically feature many novice players, this is especially true at Hollywood Park. Mathematically, this makes no difference, but if you prefer to play with players who play by the book, HP may not be your first choice.
The casino floor and gaming areas are inundated with a fairly “seedy” crowd on many nights, and self awareness should be practiced. HP is not a place to be flashing and flaunting your money. If visiting, be sure to understand that many of the patrons may not be serious gamers and have potential to get out of control especially if alcohol is involved.
The gaming rules vary in the state of California, and thus one can expect some key differences at Hollywood Park Casino. For example, one will pay $1 per $100 wagered ($1 for $100 bets, $2 for $200 bets, etc.), and this means an additional fee for side and bonus bets. There are no machine games offered, however, the casino offers blackjack, pai gow poker, pai gow tiles, baccarat, three card poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, pan-9, 2-way winner and party craps. There is also off-track betting, which is a continuation from the old Hollywood Park. If includes races from North America and Australia.
The casino houses 125 tables for both poker and California games, in the same way as nearby Commerce and Hawaiian Gardens, and features a massive chandelier light upon entrance, a bar area with big-screen HD TV’s, Century Bar & Grill, and a separate area for high-stakes players and celebrity tournaments.
Overall the new casino is cleaner and still contains the card games allowed under state law as its predecessor, but the layout is not ideal. Many of the TV’s are not placed in an optimal position for viewing (especially at the bar), many of the blackjack tables and other tables have lower seating to accommodate wheelchairs as opposed to the industry standard high-tables.
The casino clearly made an effort to upgrade, which in some respects they did, however, the patrons and lack of industry standard rules and layout far exceeds the aesthetics offered inside the new building.
The poker room at Hollywood Park is not as complete as others in the Los Angeles poker scene. There was hope that with the relaunch of the casino, that the poker room would be improved significantly. Instead, however, it was relegated to its own section and seems to have taken a total backseat to the greater operation.
For the most part, you will find low limit games, not exceeding $5/$5 in No Limit Texas Hold’em games, with the occasional $5/$10 game as well. If the right crowd is there on the right day, you may find an occasional $10/$20 game as well. The biggest problem with Hollywood Park is management and competition. Commerce poker room has a strong grasp on the market, and there does not appear to be any incentive for players to switch to Hollywood Park, or anywhere else.
The comp system at Hollywood Park for poker is more of a mystery than anything else. Employees will occasionally walk the poker room floor and ask to swipe players cards, but there is no definitive structure for the comps. In our experience, regardless of play, you will not have actual money or comps added to your players card. Hollywood Park does not utilize the Bravo Poker Live app, which is another one of its many shortcomings. You will need to call into the room in order to find out which games are running and/or to be placed on a waiting list.
There are not many options for dining at Hollywood Park. The first is Century Bar & Grill, which is mainly American fare with a selection of craft beer and cocktails. The casino does offer complimentary valet if you dine-in. There is also a Peet’s coffee shop within the casino, and a deli, which is stocked with fresh sandwiches and snacks to go.
Hollywood Park also now includes a lounge area that hosts DJ’s, parties, and events. It is a semi-private area that is sectioned off directly next to the bar area.
Like most card rooms and casinos, there is also tableside dining and drink service available 24/7.
Hollywood Park Casino is located at the intersection of West Century Boulevard and South Prairie Avenue in Inglewood, CA. The newly constructed building (2016) is part of the city’s plan to rebrand the neighborhood of Inglewood and transform the old Hollywood Park Racetrack with a sports stadium, hotels, shops and housing.