HAMMOND — Poker could be back at the Horseshoe Casino by the end of March — approximately one year after the popular Hammond poker room "temporarily" closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Horseshoe officials recently confirmed they're taking preliminary steps toward resuming poker activities in the first quarter of 2021, including seeking applications from individuals interested in attending an upcoming "dealer school" training program.
Dealer school graduates receive a signing bonus of at least $2,000 if they are hired by the Horseshoe. Experienced dealers may qualify for higher bonuses, according to the casino.
Additional information and a job application are available online by visiting the caesarsjobs.com website and entering "Hammond, Indiana" in the location search.
"We are delighted to add jobs back to the community, and we are confident that our loyal poker players will have the opportunity to return to their beloved gaming activities very soon," said Noah Hirsch, Horseshoe vice president and assistant general manager.
Hirsch said No-Limit Texas Hold 'em and Pot Limit Omaha will be the first live games once poker resumes at the Horseshoe.
Poker tournaments and additional games will be rolled out at later dates.
"Our long-term intent is to ultimately offer over 30 tables as we had previously before the temporary closure last spring, and we look forward to continuing to expand our promotions and bringing back the legendary World Series of Poker circuit events," Hirsch said.
The reopened poker room will operate in accordance with the health and safety protocols implemented by the Horseshoe's parent company, Caesars Entertainment Inc.
Those include frequent cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, mandatory face masks for casino employees and patrons, and regular employee health screenings.