The calendar is flipping from August to September. Football is starting and the kids are heading back to school.
And that also means Labor Day weekend car giveaways.
“You always want to end the summer with a bang, whether you work in a casino or work anywhere else,” said Steve Bonner, general manager of Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. “They see that weekend as a last hurrah, so you try to put together something that plays to that emotion.”
Down here in South Florida, there are four casinos with promotions. Many have been building up the interest by offering entries into their car drawing throughout August.
▪ Seminole Classic gives away a Jeep Wrangler at 11 p.m. Friday, with entries available up to the drawing time. A consolation prize of $5,000 free slot play goes at 11:30 p.m.
▪ Hialeah Park has been building up all month to a Mercedes GLA giveaway, which will be part of the casino’s usual $10,000 Saturday drawing that runs from 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday. After all those drawings are concluded all entries go back into the pile and at 1 a.m. is the grand prize.
▪ Calder Casino takes the auto giveaway a step further, giving away a Nissan Frontier Crew Cab both on Saturday and Monday. Qualifiers have been picked each Saturday, with the final ones this weekend.
▪ Seminole Casino Coconut Creek gives away a BMW i8 on Saturday. The casino also awards $50,000 in free slot play from 5-9 p.m.
“You don’t want to let the Labor Day weekend slide without having something going on,” Bonner said. “We’re in the dream business.”
The Magic City Casino poker room wrapped up its 20-year anniversary celebration with a $25,000 tournament and big awards for players who frequently hit four-of-a-kind in July.
The Royal Flush tournament, limited to those players who hit a royal flush in July, drew 17 players on July 31. Javier Bustamante won first prize and $12,500, followed by Oscar Salinas ($7,500) and Robert C ($5,000).
Bustamante won the final hand in unusual fashion: He held a King-4 against Salinas’ pocket 10s. The flop included a 4 and a 10, giving Salinas a set, but the turn and river each were 4s, giving Bustamante quads. Talk about a tough loss.
Quad squad prizes were awarded Aug. 3 to those who hit the most four-of-a-kind hands in July. Pedro P. Martinez won $10,000, followed by Roger Warren Collette ($8,000), the aforementioned Salinas ($6,000) and Jose Manuel Pena and Stelvio Giachello ($3,000 each).
The poker room also honored Luis Calvo, a regular player at the Magic City pot-limit Omaha games. Calvo won a World Series of Poker bracelet earlier this year in a $3,000 PLO tournament, outlasting 630 to collect $362,185.
Weather forced Hialeah Park to postpone its fourth anniversary party that had been set for last weekend, but the casino has moved its schedule of entertainment to Sept. 21-24.
Free shows include Lucy Grau at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Fountain Terrace, and Danny Daniel and Amaury Gutierrez at 9 p.m. Sept. 22 at Paddock Garden.
The big act, Gente De Zona, is at 9 p.m. Sept. 23. The group is a Cuban reggaetón group that was part of three Grammy awards after a collaboration with Enrique Iglesias on his 2014 release “Bailando.” It’s $25 for general admission. Get tickets at 1234ticket.com. A car show, is at 11 a.m. Sept. 24, followed by Jose Fajardo Jr. and Tito Puente Jr. at the Fountain Terrace at 4:30 p.m.
▪ The Cuban group Timbalive is on at 10 p.m. Saturday at Casino Miami. The show is free.
▪ Deon Cole, who plays Charlie Telphy on ABC’s “Black-ish,” and Tiffany Haddish, from the movie “Girls Trip,” are booked for comedy at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday at the Casino @ Dania Beach. Go to CasinoDaniaBeach.com.
▪ The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino gives away Grey Goose vodka from 2-6 p.m. Saturday. Slot players who earn 10 comp dollars on Saturday before 5 p.m. qualify.
▪ Gulfstream Park gives away a $10 Macy’s gift card from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday to players who earn at least 75 slot points.