Jai-alai could be on hiatus until May 2019 at Kings Court, the new facility in Florida City, and that might be a good thing for management: Players broke the front glass wall four times slinging the pelota and hitting just the wrong spot.
Hialeah Park officials bought land just north of the Florida Keys and built a fronton using a state law that granted them an extra pari-mutuel permit. The venue opened in mid-June and when the fiscal year began July 1, officials zipped through 58 performances of eight games each.
Those are magic numbers. That’s the minimum number of games required for Florida City to open a poker room. Those 58 performances in July meant that Kings Court has met its obligation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.
So the next requirement is to run 58 performances by June 30, 2019. Management can resume action by May 2019 and easily get to 58 by running afternoon-evening doubles. Jai-alai fans, that means it’ll be almost two years before the game returns to Florida City.
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That will give them time to figure out a big problem. A company from Markina (in the Basque country on the border of France and Spain) installed the unique glass court, which they said was popular in their home country. But players kept hitting the metal strips that connect the glass panels, and the screws have been shattering the glass — sending everyone home.
Gambling action was been epic-slow anyway. Recently released state records show a total of $1,914 wagered in July and $1,081 in August. That averages out to about $4 per game. (Two minimum $2 bets.) Just by comparison, the frontons at the Casino @ Dania Beach and at Casino Miami, which are near-deserted, still garner about $200,000 per month in bets.
But a pari-mutuel with no action is not quite the point here anyway. The whole setup, as dictated by our state laws, is that a poker room can exist only if there’s a horse track, dog track or jai-alai fronton attached.
And for a six-table poker room, Kings Court has done OK. They take in more than $100,000 per month, although September figures might be spotty because of the impact Hurricane Irma had in south Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys. And the Florida City jai-alai building still houses simulcast betting, for those who want to wager on horse, dog or jai-alai action conducted elsewhere in the country.
Hard Rock Poker
Joseph Gotlieb of Hollywood won the main event in the World Series of Poker Circuit Series last week at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.
Gotlieb, 52, bested 904 total entries to win $257,638 in the event, which cost $1,675 to enter.
Meanwhile, the PokerStars charity event, benefiting Feeding South Florida, drew 124 entrants and raised $55,000 for the charity. Bryan Emory of Plantation won the event, and took home $3,000 and an entry into the PokerStars Caribbean adventure.
Gulfstream West open
Live racing in South Florida moved eight miles west last week, from Gulfstream Park to Gulfstream Park West — the Miami Gardens track formerly known as Calder Race Course.
There will be limited seating with some amenities at Gulfstream West, including the Adena Farms Food Truck and an increase in betting windows over the previous years. The Calder slots building is adjacent to the track.
Gulfstream West must conduct 40 days of racing per year in order to maintain the slot permit for the casino.
▪ Miccosukee Resort & Gaming gives away a GMC Canyon or Terrain at midnight the next three Fridays. Winners can also take $12,000 cash and a hotel stay instead.
▪ Hialeah Park’s guest appreciation day is from 9 a.m. to midnight on Thursdays. Slot players who earn one point can win $5, $10 or $20, depending on their card level.
▪ Noting that we’re all likely fatigued by this hurricane season, Resorts World Bimini is offering one free night hotel stay at its hotel. The Bimini casino also awards $25 to slot players who accrue five player’s club points.
▪ Seminole Classic slot players can win a travel package, $5,000 free play, $5,000 cash and other prizes from 2-11 p.m. Saturday. Players can earn entries into the drawing starting Thursday.
▪ Gulfstream Park gives away $50,000 in free slot play this month to winners of the Quick Hit slot tournament. The event is from 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Mondays, and each winner receives $2,500 to spend on the slots. Patrons must accrue 10 slot points to enter the tournament.
▪ Carlos Oliva & The Judge’s Nephews play a free show at 10 p.m. Saturday at Casino Miami. The group specializes in rhythm and dance music.
▪ The Casino @ Dania Beach has “Blackjack Blitz” from 8-11 Friday and Saturday and 6-8 p.m. Sunday. The casino does not have live table games, but players who hit a blackjack on the electronic tables receive a raffle ticket. At 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday, names will be drawn for a $200 voucher to wager on one hand of blackjack.