The Seminole Hard Rock near Hollywood isn’t quite telling smokers to butt out, but they’ve at least confined it mostly to the casino floor.
The casino began posting signs last month declaring certain spots as non-smoking. They include several walkways, elevator banks, restrooms and a spot in the high-roller slots room. The Beach Club Café (but not the bar area) is also now non-smoking.
Casinos at Florida horse tracks, dog tracks and jai-alai frontons must be non-smoking to comply with the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act. Native American casinos, protected by sovereign immunity, allow smoking.
That’s actually a competitive advantage, because the profile of a regular casino patron is gambler-smoker-drinker. Atlantic City casinos suffered a 15 percent drop in business when New Jersey enacted its own non-smoking laws in 2008. The casino operators quickly lobbied and received an exception.
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But the Seminoles know that times are changing and try to balance the desires of both smokers and nonsmokers. My take is that by clearing up the major corridors as they did, visitors can at least traverse along the casino perimeter without directly encountering smoke, while the slot and table games floor itself doesn’t change. Seminole Hard Rock officials point out that there are non-smoking areas on the casino floor, too.
The Seminoles have also installed new air filtration or improved air conditioning in recent years at their three South Florida casinos. Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in west Miami-Dade, um, still has some work to do.
Mardi Gras eyes Dec. 1
Mardi Gras Casino is eyeing Dec. 1 for reviving its poker and pari-mutuel wagering rooms, as well as dog racing.
President Dan Adkins said Monday that carpet is being installed this week in the north end of the building, which suffered the least damage from Hurricane Irma.
The slots area, which experienced the most water damage, will open a few weeks later, Adkins said. Water entered through the roof and bounced along beams like a pinball, flooding areas sporadically.
Adkins said some of the challenges in restoration included obtaining building materials, which were in demand everywhere after Hurricane Irma. He also added that restoring such items as the lure used to coax greyhounds around the track have been difficult.
“The dog racing stuff, people don’t make that anymore,” he said. “We had to find old motors that don’t exist today, so materials of that kind have been problematic.”
It’s a weekend of free Latin music concerts at Hialeah Park’s Fountain Terrace: Disco/salsa queen Lucy Grau is booked for 9 p.m. Friday, and Jose Fajardo Jr. and Tito Puente, Jr. will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Grau is best known for her salsa-fied version of the Donna Summer disco classics “On the Radio” and “Last Dance.” Singer and percussionist Fajardo Jr. carries on the charanga legacy established by his father, Cuban bandleader and flautist Jose Fajardo, recording and performing throughout the United States. Puente Jr. is the son of the famous Mambo King Tito Puente and now leads his own band.
Food trucks will be curated by the Cuban Boys, who will also have their mobile unit present.
Benefit at Creek
Lisa Niemi Swayze, author of “Worth Fighting For,” which chronicles her last months with her husband, actor Patrick Swayze, as he battled pancreatic cancer, will appear at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek Thursday as part of the “Coco For A Cure” Art & Fashion Celebration.
The 7 p.m. event, hosted by Captain Lee Rosbach from Bravo TV’s “Below Deck,” includes fine art from Blackburn Galleries, fashion by Bloomingdale’s, NYY Steak signature bites, live entertainment and giveaways. Tickets are $125 at 954-585-5379. All proceeds will benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
▪ Tropikalia, a variety show in the vein of the Tropicana Nightclub in Havana, is a free show at 8 p.m. Saturday at Magic City Casino. Comedian Boncó Quiñongo, magician Omar Ferret and the band Timbalive are booked.
▪ The poker room at Miccosukee Resort & Casino offers “Spin for Cash” Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The top prize is $1,000.
▪ Calder Casino is running a holiday toy drive. Patrons receive $5 in free slot play if they donate $5 or more in toys in new, unopened packages. (If the donation is close to the $5 minimum, they suggest you bring the receipt.)
▪ The Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open begins this week at the Seminole Hard Rock, with the $360 buy-in Ultimate Re-Entry. There are eight flights running this week and last year’s event drew more than 5,000 entries. The $2 Million Guaranteed Championship will be televised and live streamed by Poker Night in America and broadcast on CBS Sports network as part of Poker Night in America’s “The Final Table.”
▪ The Seminole Hard Rock also gives away Ralph Lauren wallets to any slot player who earns 10 comp dollars between midnight and 4 p.m. Saturday. The gift must be picked up between 2 and 5 p.m. in Hard Rock Live.
▪ Seminole Classic Casino gives away up to $3,000 in free play every 30 minutes from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. One player from each Seminole Wild Card Level (Platinum, Elite and X-Card) will be selected.
▪ David Alan Grier, a three-time Grammy and Tony award nominee, performs with TK Kirkland & Friends at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Casino @ Dania Beach. Grier is best known for “In Living Color,” where he personified Antoine Merriweather, Al MacAfee, Mr. Brooks and Mr. Calhoun Tubbs. Tickets start at $20 via CasinoDaniaBeach.com
▪ Gulfstream Park gives a $10 Publix gift card to slot players who earn 75 points from noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.