I usually tell you about what activities currently are going on at South Florida casinos, but this week I want to devote a few paragraphs to what might be coming in the future.
As you probably know, horse tracks, dog tracks and jai-alai frontons in Miami-Dade and Broward counties can offer slots and poker. If you want to play blackjack, the only three places are the Seminole casinos in Broward County. State law prohibits roulette and craps anywhere.
Never miss a local story.
Any changes must be approved by the Florida Legislature, which began its 2018 session this week.
And some of those legislators, as well as their peers from across the country, heard about where the gambling industry might be headed during the winter meeting of the National Council of Gamblers from Legislative States. Experts made presentations Friday through Sunday at the Hyatt Regency in Miami.
The view five years from now? Well, it’s possible that we would have legalized sports betting. The Supreme Court heard a case in December that could overturn the federal ban against it.
And if sports betting were legalized in Florida, then so would daily fantasy sports, which is essentially sports betting.
And because daily fantasy sports are enjoyed especially by the young, betting would be available via your mobile device.
And because sports betting would be mobile-friendly, leaders of the lottery — the gambling enterprise that does the best job of filling up state coffers — would also insist that Floridians could purchase lottery tickets online.
And because the Seminole Tribe of Florida pays the state about $250 million a year to protect itself from other forms of gambling entering our state, that compact agreement certainly would need to be renegotiated.
And that could bring about a complete rewriting of what forms of gambling are permitted in our state.
So if you’re a gambler, changes are coming, eventually. And if you’re the parent of a high-school student, I suggest encouraging your child to study gambling law in college. There’s going to be plenty of job opportunities.
Lucky Hearts poker
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino plays host to the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, starting this week.
The first of 24 events is a $1,100 buy-in WPTDeepStacks opener featuring a $1 million prize pool that players can enter at 11 a.m. Thursday, Friday or Saturday. The main event costs $3,500 to enter at noon Jan. 19 or 20 and has a $2 Million Guarantee.
For information visit SHRPO.com.
Magic City collects $10K
Those pennies certainly add up: Magic City Casino staff gathered the small, unclaimed slot tickets that players often don’t cash — who wants to bother if it’s less than $1? — and rolled them into one big donation.
Last month, casino officials donated $10,000 to Potentia Academy, a Palm Beach area private school that works exclusively with students with unique learning abilities.
The donation is part of a multi-year effort that has bestowed “loose” change to worthy community partners throughout South Florida, which has generated upward of $50,000 over the past five years.
▪ Calder Casino continues its “Hero Day” promotion on Thursdays. Players Club members who are armed forces, public safety or medical professionals with valid ID receive $10 free play with 20 slot points earned.
▪ Gulfstream Park gives away $10 Shell gas cards to slot players who earn 75 points from noon to 10 p.m. Sundays in January.
▪ Herman’s Hermits, led by original front man Peter Noone, plays at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Casino @ Dania Beach. The band is known for hits such as “I’m Into Something Good,” “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” and “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.” The show is open to all ages. Tickets begin at $30 via casinodaniabeach.com.
▪ Gypsy Wisdom, a four-piece band from Philadelphia, performs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday this weekend as part of the new music series at the Hard Rock Cafe at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, near Hollywood. The café also offers half-priced drinks at the bar and lounge.
▪ Hialeah Park continues its big Saturday giveaway. It’s $1,000 of free play hourly from 2-4 p.m. and from 9-11 p.m. The prize rises to $2,000 cash at 5 p.m. and midnight. Patrons receive one free entry into the drawing and accrue more entries for each 25 slot points earned.