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Miccosukee Resort & Gaming

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By: Harvey Fialkov

Forget Las Vegas, Come to Miami for Its Beaches, Nightlife and Gambling Options

With its beaches and casinos scene, Miami is burgeoning into the South’s Las Vegas. Throw in the “Sport of Kings” and thrilling jai alai frontons to wager on while cheering on sensational athletes – both of the two-legged and four-legged variety – and it’s a win-win day of entertainment for visitors and locals alike.

From Aventura to Homestead, gamblers can play high-stakes poker while dining on scrumptious steaks in the dozens of fine-dining restaurants in Miami’s casinos. If you love horseracing, then set Gulfstream Park and Casino into your car’s GPS. If you’re a fan of fast-paced exciting jai alai then head over to Calder Casino, located about a football field away from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Magic City Casino is a gambling hall where you can also witness pelotas caroming off walls and into basques. You can bet on having a great time! Here’s our guide to Miami’s most tempting gaming hot spots.

Gulfstream Park and Casino
Gulfstream Park and Casino

Gulfstream Park and Casino

Nestled between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, Gulfstream Park Racetrack & Casino is one of the nation’s premier thoroughbred racetracks offering ten months of championship racing. Experience heart-pounding action from the grandstands or be pampered like royalty while enjoying the Sport of Kings from December 1 to September 30.

Horseracing handicappers can get a sneak preview of Triple Crown contenders at the venerable $1-million Florida Derby which began in 1952 and takes place in late March. In 2019, Maximum Security ridden by Luis Saez captured the Florida Derby and five weeks later crossed the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby, horse racing’s Super Bowl, only to be disqualified for interference on a controversial decision.

People-watching and celebrity gawking is on tap in late January at Gulfstream Park during Pegasus Cup weekend, which began in 2017. It hands out a $3-million purse to the winner of the Pegasus World Cup and $1 million to the winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. The beauty of these races is that these magnificent equine athletes are not given any medication to run.

“We are investing in the future of our sport by creating new opportunities for horsemen and horses to run without medication,’’ said Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of Gulfstream Park racing.

If you’re a fan of pugilism, Gulfstream Park hosts several boxing cards per year. If music is your cup of tea, then check out the busy concert schedule. Family Fun Fridays are perfect for the kiddies as Superstar Productions puts on children’s musical shows like Frozen in Champions Plaza. Families can enjoy DJs, character appearances, games, beach chair movie nights and host a variety of holiday shows, including musical tree-lighting during Christmas with Santa and Mrs. Claus. All for no charge and free parking.

Gulfstream Park casino is open 365 days a year as is the shopping and fine-dining in Gulfstream Village, including more than 20 restaurants, bar and night spots. There are more than 800 Vegas-style slot machines, including video blackjack and poker in Gulfstream’s Casino. The Gulfstream Park poker room in the Finish Line Casino has 30 tables featuring all of the popular cash games and Texas Hold’em tournaments with a buffet and stocked bar. 901 S. Federal Hwy, Hallandale-Aventura, FL 33009

Gambling
Gambling

Calder Casino and Gulfstream Park West

For more gambling fun trot over to Calder Casino and its racetrack, now known as Gulfstream Park West race course, where you can strike it rich on one of the money-spewing slot machines or hit a daily double on thoroughbred racing in October and November when their landlords at Gulfstream Park takes a break.

Calder Casino is located in Miami Gardens about a punt away from Hard Rock Stadium where the Miami Dolphins and University of Miami play their home football games. It’s a great place to wind down after taking in a football game, concert or Miami Open tennis match at the Hard Rock.

The casino opened in 2010 and features a 100,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,100 slot machines, including video poker, as well as electronic roulette and blackjack. Live entertainment can be found at Calder Casino on a weekly basis as well as a popular ladies night.

It is a non-smoking casino, however its Backyard Casino is South Florida's newest and largest smoking friendly open-air casino. 21001 NW 27th Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33056

Dinner at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming
Dinner at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming

Miccosukee Resort & Gaming

The Miccosukee tribe knows how to throw a party. Just take a drive southwest from Miami and when you run into the Everglades, turn around and check into this 302-room, 3-star Miccosukee Resort & Gaming hotel where you can hit the jackpot on one of their 2,000 Vegas-slot machines. Venture over to the poker room or Bingo Hall for high-stakes action. Learn about the Miccosukee tribe, who predate Columbus, and their heritage at one of their year-round festivals in Indian Village or take an airboat ride in the Everglades.

If you want to take a break in between bets, get a tee-time at the PGA style 27-hole golf masterpiece. Enjoy the martini bar and Bravo Bravissimo Italian restaurant. Instead of the long haul home, check out an executive suite and de-stress in the room’s hot tub. 500 SW 177th Avenue, Miami, FL 33194

Casino Miami

This no-frills casino is betting on legalized sports someday as they are set up more like a Las Vegas race book than a glitzy casino. They take bets on jai alai, thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing nationwide all from its state-of-the-art viewing facility. They actually hold jai alai matches in December only.

Casino Miami does boast approximately 1,000 Las Vegas-style slot machines and about 15 poker tables where they regularly host tournaments. Dance the night away at Club Rio to nightly entertainment.

Located about two miles from Miami International Airport, out-of-town visitors are welcome to hop in a Lyft and take in the action. 3500 NW 37th Ave, Miami, FL 33142

Hialeah Park Racing & Casino
Hialeah Park Racing & Casino

Hialeah Park Racing & Casino

One of South Florida's most storied gambling venues, Hialeah Park Racing and Casino opened to the public in 1922, when it was known as the Miami Kennel Club. Back then, the spot was little more than a greyhound-racing track. Hialeah Park is even is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as an Audubon Bird Sanctuary because of the colony of beautiful flamingos living on the racetrack’s infield during racing season. After a huge renovation, the venue now offers electronic roulette and blackjack, as well as more than 850 slot machines. An elegant poker room on the second floor with 33 tables draws players from across the region to regularly scheduled tournaments. And horses have replaced the greyhounds (Seattle Slew won the Flamingo Stakes on the casino’s grounds back in 1977 and went on to win the Triple Crown), with quarter horse racing and year-round races simulcast on screens in the Champions Sports Bar. Admission and parking is free.

The splendiferous facility is located five minutes from Miami International Airport and ten minutes from Downtown Miami and South Beach. It also has a nearby Metrorail station. 100 East 32nd Street, Hialeah, FL 33013

Magic City Casino

The Magic City Casino boasts being the first Florida casino to offer Las Vegas-like slot machines and brags about paying more jackpots than any other casino in Miami. In 2018, they replaced greyhound racing with jai alai and recruited several former University of Miami athletes to play from April to October.

Magic City Casino hosts the U.S. National Jai Alai Championships and attracts music greats such as Rick Springfield and the Grand Funk Railroad. Sports fans can watch games from around the globe in the Sports Club on their many large-screen TVs, while sipping cocktails or snacking in the 1952 Café. 450 NW 37th Avenue, Miami, 333126

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