***UPDATE – The Casino is CLOSED***
With the new Dania Casino & Jai Alai, Broward County is becoming quite the gambling destination. While it’s not the Vegas Strip, you can get a feel for being in Vegas in many locations here. Let us fill you in on the different options found here:
Broward County (Fort Lauderdale metro area) has two different kind of casinos:
-The Indian Casino. The Seminole’s have an agreement with the state of Florida to operate full ‘Vegas Style’ slots along with Poker and exclusive table games like Blackjack (but not Craps or Roulette).
-The ‘Racino’. Frontons around the county (Jai Alai and Horse Racing/Dog Racing) have the rights to install full ‘Vegas Style’ slots only.
Dania Casino & Jai Alai recently open part of its renovation after installing slot machines at its property. 550 slot machines are through the space and from what we’ve heard, they’re still working on a piece of the renovation due to open in about a year. They still have Jai Alai games here and there are three rows of seats to watch the sport. I was here years ago and it appears the casio is built where the Jai Alai stadium seating once was. The overall plans call for a hotel on the property, but I’m sure that is down the road a bit. This could be a great addition to the area and bring some energy to the property if done well.
We arrived a bit early on Saturday, maybe around 10AM. The parking lot was empty. I’m guessing maybe only the hard-core gamers were here this early…then again we were there. The outside is the same and looks quite ‘boring’. Let’s hope that an exterior renovation is also in the plans.
Walking in you immediately see the Players Club desk. We got in line to get our cards and read that new players get $20 in free play. The registration was easy and quick…however, we were told you only get $20 when you sign up ONLINE. If you sign up at the counter you get $10 in free play. I don’t get it…don’t they want you to come in to the place? I wonder how many people sign up and just never go. We got our cards and checked the place out.
The front room had shiny new slot machines. The walls are a dark red and the ceilings are quite low which made the whole place look a bit too dark. The small snack counter was also on this level which seemed to offer sandwiches and other small items.
One thing we noticed is that is was like a maze in here. There were so many corners it was a bit hard to get a feel for how large the venue was. We happened to find an escalator and saw a sign for more slot machines so we went upstairs. Once on the upper floor, it felt a little more like a casino. The ceilings were higher and there less turns and corners hiding machines. We ended up playing our $10 free play and each one of us walked out with a total of $20, so I guess it’s not a bad return from spending no money. There were so many employees here it was a bit distracting. Many were just standing around and felt as if they were ‘watching’ you, yes, standing right behind you watching you play. While being its first week open, I’m sure that issue will get ironed out.
Overall it’s a good effort for a once popular Jai Alai location. We didn’t care for the dark colors and lower floor casino since it felt a bit cramped. They did have a good selection of slot machines. Oh yeah, and I did walk out with an extra $25 of winnings in my pocket.
Tips for your next visit to Dania Casino:
- Sign up for the Player’s Club online the day before you visit to get an extra $10 of Free Play.
- We hear soda, coffee and water are free if you are playing.
- Food options look limited so keep that in mind.
- The parking lot is huge, so you shouldn’t have an issue parking.
- There are 2 floors of slot machines. Take the escalator up for more slots.
- This is a non-smoking casino.