Harrah’s recently opened a new barge mounted
casino at their Joilet, Illinois property on the Des Plaines River near Chicago. The building on a barge replaces two USCG certified vessels that have been at the facility since 1993, the M/V Northern Star, a cruise-ship type vessel, and M/C Southern Star, a sternwheeler. The barges
for the new facility were designed by DeJong & Lebet, Inc. Naval Architects, Jacksonville, Florida. DeJong & Lebet, Inc. also designed the two casino vessels that
were replaced by the barge-mounted casino.
The casino is mounted on two barges, which were built at Halter Marine in Port Bienville, Miss. Each barge measures approximately 200 x 100 x 16 ft. The barges are constructed of steel, except for the main deck, which is a 10.5 in. thick concrete slab. This design technique was developed by DeJong & Lebet, Inc. to reduce construction costs by eliminating the steel deck plate since a concrete deck is required even with a steel deck.
The barge facility is certified to meet the stability and bulkheading requirements of the Illinois State Gaming Regulations. Third party certification services were provide by Applied Material Technologies, Wheaton, Illinois.