Diamond Lotto: A South Florida phenomenon


Diamond Lotto, a slot machine that involves players selecting numbers, is more popular in South Florida than it is anywhere else in the world. About 400 machines are in the area, including at Hialeah Park.
Diamond Lotto, a slot machine that involves players selecting numbers, is more popular in South Florida than it is anywhere else in the world. About 400 machines are in the area, including at Hialeah Park.

What makes South Florida slot floors different than the rest of the nation? Diamond Lotto.

The game consists of players choosing six numbers from 0 through 9 and then seeing if the numbers drawn are a match, making it very much like an instant Pick Six lottery game. (A Diamond symbol acts as a wild card, improving the odds.)

South Florida has a massive Hispanic population — especially Cubans, many of whom grew up on a lottery game called “bolita” — so the game is something they know and can easily figure out.

Of the 450 games placed in the United States, 400 are in South Florida casinos.

Wade West, senior director of marketing at Calder Casino in Miami Gardens, said his casino started with about five machines. He moved to South Florida after working in Mississippi.

“Now we have about 50 on the floor,” he said. “I think people kind of get to help to determine outcome by selecting their numbers, like a lottery. You feel a little more in control.”

Slot manufacturer AGS first marketed the game to the Miccosukee Resort & Casino in west Miami-Dade. When the racetrack casinos came on board in South Florida, some casino officials, including former Gulfstream President Steve Calabro, scouted Miccosukee and saw their popularity. The company then sent machines to Gulfstream Park and everywhere else in South Florida, including Hialeah Park, where Calabro is now general manager.

Wiener Bash

Magic City Casino hosts the first ever Wiener Bash, presented in partnership with Burger Beast, from 5-9 p.m. Saturday.

More than 15 South Florida restaurants and food trucks, including Pincho Factory, Shake Shack and Sweet Dogs, will showcase their takes on tasty links while rock legends The Guess Who (“American Woman”), War (“Low Rider,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends”) and Foghat (“Slow Ride”) grind out classic hits onstage.

Packages for this event start at $60. Admission includes unlimited samples of South Florida’s tastiest competing hot dogs and sausages, an assortment of desserts, soft drinks and a seat at the Magic City Amphitheater.

Go to magiccitycasino.com or WienerBash.com or call 844-234-SHOW.


▪ Hialeah Park’s big poker tournament for the month is going full speed this week. Players can enter for $205 at 11 a.m. or 7 p.m. through Saturday. The finals are at noon Sunday and the event guarantees $151,000 in payouts.

▪ The Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open is under way at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, but there’s still time to enter the first event. It’s a $360 buy-in with entries available at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. through Saturday. Re-entries are allowed. The tournament, which guarantees $1 million in prize money, concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday. The tournament’s main event is a $3,500 buy-in, $2 million guaranteed championship. Go to SHRPO.com.

▪ A poker tournament to benefit Hope Worldwide Bolivia and the Arco Iris Hospital is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at The Casino @ Dania Beach. Entry is $50.

This weekend

▪ Mardi Gras Casino gives away a trip to Homestead Speedway’s NASCAR race, but you have to earn 10 points — and be an excellent driver. Slot players who earn 10 points from 4-9 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday can drive a Jeff Gordon Dupont Chevy Simulator at the casino.

▪ Hialeah Park’s big November giveaway is a Ford F150 at 1 a.m. Nov 26. Slot players can earn entries into the drawing each Saturday, when the casino also regularly gives away $1,000 in free play hourly from 2-5 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. and $2,000 cash at 5 p.m. and midnight.

▪ The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino gives away a Pandora Bracelet to those who earn at least 20 comp dollars on Saturday. Another 15 comp dollars nets a Pandora charm. Points must be earned on Saturday and the prizes must be collected from 8 to 11 p.m. in the ballroom.

▪ Once recognized for hosting Nickelodeon’s Friday Night Slime and SPLAT!, singer-songwriter Chloe Dolandis will be performing at Legends Lounge in Seminole Casino Coconut Creek at 7 p.m. Saturday. A Florida Atlantic University graduate, Dolandis is touring in support of her debut album “Bring Back The Fever.” She lists influences as Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler.

▪ Casino Miami is in the midst of a “$100,000 Fall Frenzy.” The casino gives away up to $1,000 in free play from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with the prize being $1,000 cash at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.

▪ If you really like scotch, you know what Macallan is. Council Oak Steaks & Seafood at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino presents a dinner event at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, featuring The Macallan 1824 Series. It starts with a reception, followed by a four-course dinner. Tickets are $850. (Yup, they’re serving the good stuff.) Call 954-316-2900 or visit SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com/Macallan.

Twitter: @NickSortal