Port Everglades is getting a go-fast gambling boat to Bimini. You can add the ship to the list of a dozen places in south Florida where you can gamble legally. Beginning October 14, the BiminiSuperfast will travel from Fort Everglades to Bimini, Bahamas, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The ship, which includes live table gaming and slot machines, already sails from Port Miami on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Over the past decade, at least five south Florida gambling-ship ventures have failed. Pinar del Rio, which sails from Port Everglades to Freeport Bahamas every day, offers only slot-machine gambling on board. The Island Breeze sails into international waters to gamble twice each day from Port of Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, but it’s currently in dry dock.
In Florida, casino gambling is allowed at horse-racing tracks, dog-racing tracks and jai-alai frontons. Most gambling joints also feature poker rooms. In addition to the Bimini cruise boats, in south Florida you can gamble at:
- Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. The largest casino in south Florida, this Hollywood venue features 2,600 slot machines, 40 poker tables and eight gaming tables. The slots feature nationwide progressive pots.
- Seminole Coconut Creek. Located in Coconut Creek, this casino is loaded with more than 2,300 slot machines, eight poker games (including Omaha, stud, hi-lo) and eight table games (including blackjack, baccarat, pai gow).
- Seminole Classic Casino. The smallest stand-alone casino in south Florida, this Hollywood gaming spot carries 1,200 slots, 38 gaming tables and bingo. More than two-thirds of their slot machines are penny slots.
- Miccosukee Resort and Gaming. Stocked with 1,700 slots, 32 poker tables, 90 electronic gaming machines, plus high-stakes bingo. This southwest Miami resort also offers entertainment, rooming, dining and golfing.
In Florida, horse racing tracks can operate casinos. South Florida serves up casino-style gambling at three thoroughbred race tracks and one harness race track. All four tracks also offer simulcast race wagering:
- Gulfstream Park. The cream-of-the-crop in south Florida horse racing, this Hallandale Beach venue stages thoroughbred races in the fall and winter. In addition to slots & poker, the casino offers dining and live entertainment.
- Calder Race Course and Casino . Owned by Churchill Downs, this Miami Gardens track hosts thoroughbred racing in the spring and fall. Plenty of slot machines in the casino, but poker and simulcasting have been discontinued.
- Hialeah Park Casino. Built in 1922, this Hialeah thoroughbred track was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Runs a winter race schedule, and offers slot machines, electronic gaming and poker tables.
- Isle Casino. Harness racing at this Pompano Park track occurs in the fall, winter and spring. In addition to three types of poker (room, tournament, video), the casino offers slots, electronic gaming, dining, live entertainment.
Dog tracks are allowed to run casinos on the premises. Simulcast racing (dogs, horses) is one of their big money makers. There are two places to gamble on greyhound racing in south Florida:
- Mardi Gras Casino. This Hallandale Beach more than 1,000 slot machines, virtual gaming, poker tournaments and simulcast racing. Includes Hallandale Dog Track, which boasts the world’s largest dog track grandstand.
- Magic City Casino . Located in Miami, this casino offers 800 Vegas-style slots, a Texas Hold ‘Em poker room and live entertainment events. Includes Flagler Dog Track, which holds eight greyhound races each week.
Jai-alai is a Hispanic game played by two people in a walled room, like a type of fast-paced squash. There are two places to gamble on jai-alai in south Florida:
- Dania Jai-Alai . Located in Dania Beach, the establishment features daily poker tournaments and simulcast racing of dogs, thoroughbreds and sulkies. Two or three jai-alia matches are held each day except Sunday.
- Casino Miami . This Miami gambling venue also features more than 1,000 slot machines, poker tournaments, dominoes matches and electronic gaming such as roulette and blackjack. Jai alai is played every day except Sunday.