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The Complete Visitor’s Guide to the Incredible Jack Casino Cleveland
I recently had an opportunity to take a small vacation trip to the Cleveland area. We planned on spending a few days in downtown Cleveland, and we were very excited to visit the Jack Casino Cleveland and play some casino games. The Jack Casino in Ohio resides in the Higbee Building, steeped in Cleveland’s history. Come with us as we enjoy our day of gambling fun at this awesome casino in Ohio!
We headed to the Jack Casino around noon. Parking was super convenient, but we were already doing some other shopping, so we parked down the road just a bit and walked to the casino instead of using the attached parking ramp. The day was sunny and beautiful, and it was a lovely walk from the shopping arcade to the Skywalk Bridge that takes you directly into the Jack Casino on the second floor.
Once we arrived at the entrance, we encountered a super-friendly security person. He gave our bags a quick inspection and asked us to lower our facemasks to get a peek at our faces. Guests were not required to wear facemasks, but casino staff wore masks while we were on site. I was carrying my camera and a large camera bag, which the security guard quickly inspected. I sure did appreciate his chipper attitude. It’s never fun to be inspected, but this was painless. After we crossed over the skywalk, we met our contact from Jack Casino Cleveland, who gave us a tour.
The Jack Casino Cleveland is in the Historic Higbee Building
Jack Casino Cleveland is in the Historic Higbee building, known for being the first department store in the greater Cleveland area. The Higbee Company is twelve floors tall and opened in 1931. After serving as the anchor for Cleveland’s Public Square for 71 years, Higbee’s closed in 2002. Higbee’s has the unique distinction of being the last downtown department store in Cleveland. It is best known nationally as the department store at the center of little Ralphie’s dream to own an “Official Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time!” in the classic Christmas favorite “A Christmas Story.”
The Higbee building became the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland in May of 2012 and eventually transitioned into the Jack Casino Cleveland in 2016. The Jack Casino website proudly declares that “this $350 million gaming destination employs 1,600 team members and features 1,600+ slot machines table games and a large Poker room; along with lounges, a buffet restaurant, and a three-outlet food court. JACK Cleveland also has partnerships with a dozen local restaurants and three downtown hotels.”
A Nod to Higbee History
Our tour host told us that this Ohio Casino strives to embrace the history of the Higbee building by keeping the original look of the department store inside of the building. They also continue to display holiday décor in the windows just as the department store would have done. I loved hearing the story of how Jack Casino Cleveland placed giant black and white photos up around the casino during a recent holiday season, reminiscent of the department store years. One of the Casino employees noticed that her grandmother was in one of those old photos as a department store employee. The legacy of the Higbee building is vital in Cleveland, and the Jack Casino takes great care to ensure that legacy is honored.
Jack Casino Cleveland takes care of the legacy of the Higbee building, and they are also committed to serving within the community of Cleveland. Team members from the casino volunteer their time and participate in local events throughout the city such as food and toy drives, school supply drives, and walkathons. Part of being a thriving community member is giving back, and this casino takes that seriously.
I am not the only person to recognize the great things that Jack Cleveland Casino is up to, either. I almost forgot to mention that they are the proud recipients of The Plain Dealer’s Top Places To Work award for 4 years running, 2018-2021. They have also been awarded Casino Player’s Best Gaming in Ohio of 2020. These are only a couple of the awards that Jack Entertainment has earned.
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We joined ClubJACK!
At the end of our tour, we stopped at the ClubJack desk to sign up for our ClubJack accounts. It turns out there are extra benefits for members over the age of 50. That’s me, y’all! I excitedly went to the ClubJack room where I could play a little Plinko to win some extra money. I only won $1, but I had a great time playing! There are all kinds of fun benefits to joining with ClubJack! You can earn Jack Points, which is an incentive award program that provides discounts and awards. As you play, you earn points.
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The Jack Casino App
Also, once you join Club Jack, you can download the mobile app for contactless play. Your phone will become a virtual player’s card, allowing you a contactless experience. You can connect via Bluetooth to any games on the casino floor, including table games, without having to use a little plastic card. Say goodbye to that little card because you can also connect via Bluetooth to any kiosk where you would previously need to swipe. There are multiple levels to the Club Jack membership, each providing different reward levels.
My personal tourguide!
It’s important to note here that I am not a regular at casinos. I have no idea how the games work, and I have spent very little time in our casinos near home, and certainly not in any Ohio Casinos. A trip to Vegas is on my bucket list but hasn’t happened just yet. My daughter, on the other hand, knows the casino world pretty well! She loves the sounds and sights of the flashing lights, and she loves pushing the buttons that could lead to a big win! So, after our official tour ended, Lexi served as my personal guide to the world of the casino.
We each began with $50 on our freshly minted Club Jack cards and ventured to see what machines caught our eyes. Lexi swears by the Buffalo Gold machine, so that’s where we started.
She gave me a quick lesson in how to insert my card, choose how much money I wanted to bet, and how to select my risk level. Of course, the higher the risk, the higher the reward. She started with a bang and won over $200 on her first machine, playing with just $10! I was so impressed. She made it look so easy!
We made our way around the casino, taking turns picking slot machines that caught our eyes. I loved the Invaders from the Planet Moolah machine, although it didn’t win me any money. None of the slot machines were profitable for me, although Lexi did great with an overall win of $260 for the day! I was super jealous, but watching her win made my mom heart happy!
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Jack Casino Cleveland discoveries
As we made our way around the casino, we took note of the real department store vibe. I can honestly say that Jack Casino Cleveland has done a great job maintaining the integrity of the original building. Of the four casinos in Ohio, Jack Casino Cleveland stands out!
I thought it was cool that you could insert your phone into a little cubby on most slot machines for wireless phone charging while we played. After walking away from my machine with my ClubJack card left in the slot, I can sure see the benefit of using my phone instead of that little card. Fortunately, we immediately went back and found it right where I left it. Had I had been using my phone, that wouldn’t have happened.
During our tour of this casino in Ohio, we had been told that there were a couple of areas of the casino under construction, adding more machines and more tables. You would never know that walking through the building. The crew had carefully blocked off the construction areas, making them completely invisible. I am excited to return and see the new spaces once they are open.
This casino is my kind of place! We saw signs all around the floor advertising pink drinks (they match my pink hair, ya know). The Jack Casino Cleveland donates $1 from each drink sold to the Cleveland Hope Lodge, which serves the community by offering cancer patients and their caregivers a place to stay while receiving treatment at the local hospital.
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The Seven Chefs Buffet
After a couple of hours of play, we decided it was time to get some lunch, so we headed to the lowest level where the Seven Chefs Buffet resides. After a quick wait in the line, our server showed us to our table and waited on us with top-notch service throughout our meal. The buffet had just about any food you’d like, including Asian, Italian, Mexican, and American dishes, a turkey carving bar, a salad bar, and even a pastry bar. Lexi and I love to eat desserts, so we were incredibly impressed with the many choices of sweets, including scooped ice cream with toppings, a variety of cakes and cookies, bread pudding, and even jello! If you don’t find something delicious to eat here, then something’s not right! Who knew this little treasure was hiding in the lower level of a casino in Ohio?
Finishing Up Our Visit
After lunch, we headed back out on the floor for some more fun with the slots. I wasn’t feeling brave enough to try any of the table games, although I regret that now. I think it would have been a perfect opportunity to learn how to play a few of them. As friendly and helpful as the staff was throughout our visit, I’m sure that the dealers would be more than happy to show me the ropes. Now I have a goal for our next visit!
At the end of our day, we cashed out our winnings. It was fantastic to see that we had the opportunity to donate some of our winnings to local charities as we cashed out. Once again, we could see how Jack Casino Cleveland plays such an essential role in the local community. I believe they are making the Higbee Building proud!
We had a great time at our visit! Lexi happily took her $260, and I took my $24, and we left with big dreams of how we’d spend our winnings! It’s safe to say that we will be back. I’ve tucked my Club Jack card away in a safe place, so I’m ready for my next visit!
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- The Complete Visitor’s Guide to the Incredible Jack Casino Cleveland