Magic City may end dog racing, add jai alai in ’18
Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave., Miami, 305-649-3000, MagicCityCasino.com) recently received state regulators’ permission to replace its greyhound racing with jai alai. State law says casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties can operate only where a pari-mutuel exists (except for casinos on Indian reservations, which are regulated differently).
Flagler Dog Track at Magic City Casino was founded in1931. But in recent decades, attendance has dwindled. Jai alai at the Casino at Dania Beach (301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., 954-920-1511, CasinoDaniaBeach.com) and Casino Miami (3500 NW 37th Ave., 305-633-6400, CasinoMiamiJaiAlai.com) has also dropped in popularity since its glory days in the 1970s and 1980s. But a fronton takes up far less space than a dog track.
Getting permission to close the track took a few years, says Scott Savin, who is COO at Magic City Casino and CEO at the Casino at Dania Beach.
According to Savin, regulators finally said, “You can switch from dog racing to jai alai as long as you play 150 jai alai performances a year.” He defines a performance as one day.
“So we can drop one parimutuel activity for the other.”
But the change is not certain.
“Our dog racing is still to October, then we race dogs again in June of 2018,” Savin says. “So we have plenty of time to investigate the switch to jai alai, which would happen in the middle of 2018. We’re looking into what kind of fronton we would have here.”
One possibility is building it at Stage 305, where Magic City hosts live performances.
“We’re l ooking i nto playing jai alai and hosting concerts and special events in 305,” he says. “We’re engaging engineers to look into it.”
As for the dog track, Savin envisions the land being used for other forms of entertainment. Stage 305 is relatively small.
“Right now, we’re constricted because we can’t bring in some of the bigger acts,” he says
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This week’s casino promotions
Throughout August, the poker room at Palm Beach Kennel Club (1111 N. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-683-2222, PBKennelClub.com) has high hands every 20 minutes from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. From Sundays to Thursdays, the first two winners each hour take home $200, and the third winner gets $400. On Fridays and Saturdays, the amounts are doubled. Saturday is the kennel club’s Players’ Championship. There’s a $280 buy-in with $250,000 up for grabs. The tournament opens at 12:15 p.m. Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com) has a Summer Series Slot Tournament from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursdays. You’re eligible to play after earning 25 points on your player’s card. The prize is $2,500 in cash and a spot in the $5,000 Grand Finale Tournament on Sept. 21. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (5550 NW 40th St., 954-977-6700, CasinoCoco.com) is giving up for Monday’s Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic at Seminole HardRockHotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800- 937- 0010, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com). Hosted by the retired Marlins player, all proceeds will go to the nonprofit Conine Clubhouse at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood.
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We have a winner
On Monday, Daryl Jace won $142,173 in the Main Event of the Florida State Poker Championship at Isle Casino Pompano Park (777 Isle of Capri Circle, Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com). The Massachusetts resident defeated 537 entrants. Runner-up was Boca Raton’s Sam Mayer-Backer, who walked with $99,666. away Sephora gift cards from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday. To receive a $15 gift card, earn at least 10 comp dollars on your Seminole Wild Card, starting at 7 a.m. On Monday from noon to 8 p.m., guests can win shares of $85,000 in free play. Every half-hour, five people will win $1,000 in free play. To be eligible, insert your card into any slot machine to receive an entry into the drawings, and you get another entry for every comp dollar earned from now until then.