One of the oldest casinos in the northeast, Hollywood Casino offers both free and real-money play. Its offering is powered by two of the biggest names in game development, namely IGT and NetEnt.
- Live casino games.
- Famous games developers.
- mychoice rewards scheme.
- Extensive problem gambling support.
- Poor website functionality.
- Almost no promotions.
- Few deposit options.
- Small games catalog.
Of all the casinos we’ve reviewed to date, Hollywood Casino is arguably the most unusual. On the one hand, it’s an online casino venture built out of Penn National Race Course. However, its other face takes the shape of a completely free-to-play website, where slots return billions of play credits. This latter site has been recently rebranded to mychoice Casino, which removes a lot of the confusion caused by the fact that it shared the same name as its real-money arm.
Unfortunately, anybody who tries to access the Hollywood Casino site directly from Google will probably end up on the social gaming site mychoice. This isn’t a great start for a company that favors the real-money style of casinos. With a history that goes back to 1972, though, it’s worth ignoring that obstacle just to see how a company with five decades’ experience in the industry puts together an online casino site.
Hollywood Casino was one of the first operators to ask for a license for sports betting and casino gaming in Pennsylvania back in 2019. Sadly, it hasn’t changed a great deal since that point, with one of the smallest games catalogs out there. Its major selling point is the recent addition of live dealer games, mostly as roulette and blackjack lobbies. A truly painful website experience and a range of bonuses that can be counted on one hand ruin the wider experience, though.
We’re here to investigate thoroughly, so let’s see if we can shake something positive out of Hollywood Casino.
Here’s something nice: Hollywood Casino offers a double deposit match bonus, so players will have their deposit equaled by the casino the first two times they make a deposit.This is rare enough on its own but the low wagering requirements of 10x mean that it’s definitely one of the more player-friendly welcome packages offered in the country. There’s also a small sign-up gift that must be wagered once before winnings can be withdrawn.
- Deposit Match of up to $251 on the first two Deposits.
- $10 Sign-up Bonus
As mentioned, though, other than the site’s loyalty scheme and a login bonus, there is only one other promotion available at Hollywood Casino. This is the unique Snowfall Boost, which rewards players according to how much it snows in Pennsylvania.
How to Claim Your Welcome Bonus
The $10 sign-up bonus is applied to new accounts automatically. However, the deposit match offer is optional, requiring a code.
- Create an account at Hollywood Casino.
- Visit the site’s Cashier.
- Enter the code DOUBLETAKE.
- Deposit at least $10.
Hollywood Casino prefers slots as far as wagering requirements are concerned. Table games, including blackjack, roulette, and baccarat in their live or standard versions, are excluded from the deposit match offer.
Hollywood Casino Loyalty Program
Just to make things a little more confusing, Hollywood Casino’s loyalty program is called mychoice. Almost everything it’s possible to play with at either the Penn National-based casino or the website can reward tier points towards gifts and other perks.
In brief, there are five VIP levels at Hollywood Casino, stretching from Choice at under 999 points to Owners Club, at more than 200,000. Playing generally gives out points per number of dollars spent. Slots, for instance, are worth two tier points per $1 spent playing online, but this is a rarity. Players will usually need to spend upwards of $10 to receive a single-tier point (food and shopping require $5).
As for the rewards on offer, VIP members can get discounts on Norwegian Cruise Line holidays, hires of Mercedes-Benz cars, and birthday dinners. The usual casino bonuses can be found, too.
Withdrawals, Deposits & Payment Methods Available
|Payment Method||Type||Fees||Average Deposit Time||Average Withdrawal Time (once processed)||Min Deposit||Max Deposit|
|VIP Preferred||e-Check||None||Next banking day||1-5 working days||$20||$5000|
|Hollywood Casino Play+||Card-based||None||Instant||–||$1||$2000|
|Bank Transfer||Bank||None||Instant||1-5 working days||$25||$100000|
Hollywood Casino has quite a low number of deposit and withdrawal options compared to other casinos serving the state. It only has recently introduced Visa, as well. The absence of PayPal is an obvious disappointment for people who prefer e-wallets, but the Play+ card does provide a feeling of normality for regular players. It is an extremely popular payment method among trusted online casinos, after all. It’s not clear why Hollywood Casino doesn’t offer cage deposits, given its use of the facilities at Penn National Race Course.
How To Create An Account
As with almost every casino, the option to sign-up for a new account is located in the top-right of the Hollywood Casino website.
- Press the Register button in the top-right.
- Add all required information.
- Insert your SSN on the second page.
- …as well as any promotion codes you have.
That’s all there is to it! However, be aware that you may have to download software to prove that you are in PA.
Not The Smoothest User Experience
We touched on this briefly in the introduction, but Hollywood Casino makes several errors on its website. In the table games section, the page only loads five lobbies, with the option to add more. Unfortunately, the player can only reveal three at a time, which means that fans of blackjack and roulette actually have to click five times to uncover what Hollywood Casino is trying (for some reason) to keep secret.
Visiting sections like Promotions or Responsible Gaming removes a large part of the site’s usefulness, too (i.e. the only way to access games is to return to the homepage). As most casinos keep their navigation pane(s) visible on every page of the site, this feels like quite a large misstep for such a well-established casino operator. Browsing anywhere is jerky and unreliable.
One user experience positive that Hollywood Casino has is that games run well and demo play is possible without the need to make an account. Games open in new windows, which, again, isn’t the best idea on PCs with basic specs.
The App Experience
Hollywood Casino does not have an Android app on the Play Store, but it can be downloaded from the official Hollywood Casino website. The iOS app is well-thought-of on the App Store, providing all the features of the main website on a smaller screen. Long-time users report that the overall experience is positive but crashes do occur. This may be a side-effect of a weak or unstable internet connection.
All The Legal Status & Info You Need To Know
Hollywood Casino has a license to operate in PA from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Players should have no problems regarding security or fairness in this state.
Good news. Hollywood Casino has several options for customer support. It seems to like its email ticketing system, though. Live chat is fast and responsive but there’s currently no phone number provided on the website. As with many online casinos, Hollywood Casino keeps a FAQ section for players to browse at their leisure.
Games Providers Available On Hollywood Casino
Aside from IGT and NetEnt, Hollywood Casino has recently introduced Japanese video game developer Konami to its website. Popular and featured slots include Fortune Coin, Endless Treasure, Hercules: High & Mighty, and Double Lotus.
Trusted Average RTP Number
The RTP at Hollywood Casino is 96.5%. This figure is tested for fairness by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. As a quick guide, RTP means Return to Player, a statistic that represents the number of credits that will be given back to a gamer from each wager made. Note that this is calculated over millions of plays and it’s unlikely to hold true at low bet amounts. So, as an example, a wager of $1 at 96.5% means that $0.96p will eventually be returned.
The Case for Casinos
When discussing online casinos, it’s easy to wonder what the market will be like in a few years’ time. After all, operators like Hollywood Casino have only been active since 2019, meaning that online gambling is one of the youngest industries in the United States. Given the often strict regulations regarding online gaming in the US, it’s debatable whether casinos in PA will grow in the same way as their European counterparts or take a new direction altogether.
Of course, at this stage, discussing the above raises many questions. Still, the addition of New York to the list of states that allow online casinos to take bets means that there’s plenty of support for real-money gaming out there.
Hollywood Casino could – and should – be so much more than it actually is. Unfortunately, there’s evidence that some operators with other interests, even if it’s just a sportsbook, tend to put less effort into their casino offering. Of course, it wouldn’t be unfair to anyone to chalk Hollywood Casino’s sometimes awkward offering up to its lack of experience online. There are plenty of better options doing the same thing, though, which is going to leave fans scratching their heads.
Players might find it worth it for the rewards scheme alone, however, especially if they’re a frequent visitor of the Penn National Race Course.
In contrast to our rather negative review of Hollywood Casino’s many aspects, the website’s Responsible Gaming section has a wealth of information.
Helpful tools such as self-exclusion, time and dollar limits, as well as stark advice like “expect to lose” and “decide not to gamble on credit” set Hollywood Casino apart from competitors like SugarHouse Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino. The company also takes steps to make problem gamblers blameless by dispelling lots of myths, e.g. that only irresponsible people become addicts.
As always, the 1-800-GAMBLER site is linked, too.
Penn National Gaming.
Yes. This operator is fully licensed and regulated in PA.
There are 19 Hollywood Casino locations in the US, all of which are called the same thing – Hollywood Casino.
Only in demo-play modes. You can play for free at mychoice casino but real-money wagering is not supported.
At selected bricks-and-mortar establishments, yes.