3 Casinos That Make Council Bluffs the Atlantic City of the Heartland

Horseshoe Casino Harrahs Casino Ameristar Council Bluffs

Council Bluffs, Iowa, is the budding Atlantic City of America’s Heartland. And while it has a long way to go before it rivals Atlantic City, New Jersey, or even Las Vegas, Nevada, Council Bluffs is well on its way with three awesome casinos at its disposal.

Better yet, you’re not looking at small casinos, but those that give you a large variety of choices in terms of casino games, dining options, and even events.

They are Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Ameristar Council Bluffs, and Harrah’s Council Bluffs. And they each own their own distinct features. For example, Ameristar remains the riverboat casino of the trio. Horseshoe Council Bluffs is larger than the other two, and Harrah’s also holds its distinct features.

Today’s post gives you an overview of all three casinos so you know what to expect when you make your trip to the area.

Ready for quick hits? Let’s go!

1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino

As with many casinos that still bear the Horseshoe name, you’re looking at an Old West-Pavilion theme at Horseshoe Council Bluffs.

Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino

Operated by Caesars Entertainment, Horseshoe is home to the Caesars Rewards. So, if you’re a member of the loyalty program, you have another fine opportunity to play your card games and earn loyalty points to redeem hot perks and benefits.

The largest casino of the trio, they boast 1,400 slot machines that also includes video poker. You will find your favorite traditional and modern themes here, plus denominations of all kinds to keep the game interesting.

Learn the tables in a one-on-one setting with video poker and perfect your game. When you’re ready, head to the tables and for games of blackjack, craps, roulette, Mississippi Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, pai gow, and Criss Cross Poker.

They also feature upscale, casual, and quick dining options. Two of their options are attached to the Jack Binion name, including the upscale steakhouse.

But JB’s Cafe is also a good option if you didn’t reserve a seat at the upscale Jack Binion’s Steakhouse.

Village Square Buffet is the third option, and it’s an outstanding one if you’re craving a potluck of cuisine from America to the Far East, as well as everything in between. Plus, it’s a great way to fill up before or after a few hours on the casino floor.

They also hold a solid number of shows per year at the triple-hybrid Whiskey Roadhouse. Apart from a concert venue, Whiskey Roadhouse serves as a bar and nightclub. So, even if they aren’t holding a big event, you still have much to get excited over.

Plus, they have stellar accommodations. If you’re looking for an extended stay, check out the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Hotel and relax in style once you’ve had enough gaming action for the day.

As you can see, you’re looking at a complete casino with slots, tables, a sportsbook, three stellar dining options, entertainment outlets, and even an on-site hotel. If you’re looking for the complete package, a trip to Horseshoe Council Bluffs is the way to go.

But it’s not the only casino in the area to get excited over.

2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino

Harrah’s Council Bluffs gives you a smaller, more intimate option. If you’re not a fan of the larger casino at Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Harrah’s may just be your finest choice. You’ll find just 500 slot machines over at Harrah’s.

But you will also find immense table gaming options like your craps, roulette, and blackjack classics. You’ll also find Cajun Stud, High-Card Flush, Emperor’s Challenge, and Three-Card Poker.

Harrahs Joliet Casino and Hotel Front

If you’re into sports betting, you’ll love what you will find at the William Hill Sportsbook. And because it’s a Caesars property, you can also build tier points here at Harrah’s if you own a Caesars Rewards account.

The other cool benefit here is the fact you have a couple of fine options if you’re going the loyalty points route. Do you go big at Horseshoe or smaller at Harrah’s? The choice is yours, and there’s no right or wrong answer!

Harrah’s Council Bluffs also boasts its fair share of dining options. You’ll even find the upscale 360 Steakhouse. And they’re not kidding when they boast about the views you’ll get of America’s Heartland along with those of the surrounding skyline.

If you’re into complementing breathtaking views with an upscale flair, head over to the 360 Steakhouse at Harrah’s Council Bluffs and kick off an exciting evening. They also boast two casual dining options, which are perfect when you’re craving a further relaxed atmosphere.

Stir Cove Backstage is one of the two prominent casual options serving the finest comfort food in the area. From pizza to gourmet burgers, heading to Stir Cove Backstage is enough that will crush any craving you throw its way.

Fresh Market Square Buffet is the perfect place for a potluck, featuring cuisine from all over the globe. It’s the best place if you’re looking for a little bit of everything at an affordable price.

Oh, and if you’ve hit enough tier points via Caesars Rewards, head over to the exclusive Laurel’s Lounge. It’s a great way to enjoy complimentary food and drinks if you have enough points to enter the lounge’s confines.

Harrah’s Council Bluffs Tag Lounge is another fantastic place to frequent. Featuring electronic tabletop games, HD televisions, a craft and cocktail menu, and so much more, it’s the perfect setting for a night of fun after dinner and a day of gaming at the casino.

They also hold events at the Stir Cove and Concert Venue. Be sure to grab a ticket to a show if your favorite acts are frequenting the area for the evening. And like Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Harrah’s also hosts hotel accommodations.

So, if you’re looking for easy access between venues, you need not venture too far from hotel to casino. Everything is set in one, convenient location.

3 Ameristar Council Bluffs

Ameristar Council Bluffs is the sole remaining riverboat in town. If you like the classic riverboat scene, head over to Ameristar, where you won’t want to miss even more casino gaming action on the third leg of your casino tour in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Ameristar Casino and Hotel Front of Building

They’re a smaller gaming space with about 38,500 square feet. But don’t let the smaller size fool you. They still have 1,500 slot and video poker machines. And yes, they have themes that you have loved in the past, plus newer themes you must give a try when you venture onto the riverboat.

They have 20 table games, featuring blackjack, roulette, craps, Cajun Stud, Flop Poker, Heads Up Hold ‘em, and High-Card Flush. Despite a smaller venue, it seems Ameristar has a little more variation at the tables than the other two casinos in the area.

They have a vibrant sports betting scene called the Sportsbook at Ameristar. So, if you’re looking for sports betting as opposed to traditional slots and table gaming, you’re in luck. Catch the big game, wager on your favorite sports team, and see if they can earn you a return on your wager.

You’ll find more dining options at Ameristar. In fact, you have five dynamic options waiting for you.

Heritage Buffet offers a stellar all-you-can-eat option. It’s great to fill up either before or after a few hours of casino gaming. The Ameristar Sports Bar and Grill guarantees you the best seat in the house with 50 HD televisions playing all sorts of big games.

Bella’s Bakery and Cafe is great for a pick-me-up or a quick snack. It’s also an ideal location to indulge in delicious desserts. Double Down Dogs is your glorified fast food option geared toward knocking out any comfort food craving you have.

Oh, and head over to Club 38 if you’re part of mychoice Rewards and have racked up enough tier points to be given entry. Just like Laurel’s Lounge over at Harrah’s, Club 38 grants you awesome VIP Access and Treatment that you will see at few casinos.

Rack up those tier points and be sure to head on in for the time of your life once you’re finished at the casino for the day.

They also have a 160-guest room hotel on-site that features contemporary comfort you won’t find in many area locations. Especially if you stay in one of those 32 whirlpool or eight octagon luxury suites. Luxury awaits when you visit the hotel at Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs.


These three casinos each have their own distinct sizes, themes, and games. While you may choose your casino based on the loyalty program you’re enrolled in, it’s still worth heading over to any of these three casinos if you’re looking for variation when you venture to Council Bluffs.

But as you can decipher, each of these casinos either have potential to grow or have grown. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them launch into all out resorts that you often see so often in Atlantic City or Vegas.

Time will tell, but Council Bluffs and the three casinos listed above may fill that void as the Vegas of the Midwest. We shall see.

Have you been to any of these casinos? If so, tell us about your experience and which one was your favorite. We can’t wait to read your stories in the comments.