Who Let the Dogs Out?
Once known as the Hollywood Greyhound Track, the Mardi Gras Casino is located in Hallandale Beach, Florida, a popular haunt for high-rolling tourists and slow-moving retirees. The Mardi Gras Casino began life way back in 1934, quickly erected following the legalization of parimutuel betting just a few years earlier. The venue was added to over the years as it become more popular and today it stands as one of the main attractions in Hallandale Beach, and one of the best places to bet on greyhound racing in the state of Florida. The Mardi Gras Casino is owned by Hartman and Tyner, who also own a venue of the same name in West Virginia.
In its current form, greyhound racing has been around for over a century and is popular everywhere from the UK and Spain, to Australia and Macau. The speed of these well-trained animals is second to none and the experience of watching your dog soar to victory is unbeatable, and one of the reasons why dog racing has become such a popular pastime in the state of Florida.
The Mardi Gras Casino is home to a handful of stakes races and a sand track that stretches to just under a mile. The casino has had many renovations since its inception, but this track is one of the few things that hasn’t changed, looking more or less the same now as it did back in the thirties when this place was constructed. As well as the real thing, punters can also try their hand at simulated racing inside the casino. All bets, include accumulators, trifectas and superfectas, are available and punters can also bet on places, exactas and quinielas.
Mardi Gras Atmosphere
If watching lithe canines chasing mechanical hares isn’t quite your thing, then you can always gamble away your children’s college fund on the slot machines instead. In 2006, the Mardi Gras Casino —which had served race fanatics for over seventy years at that point —was granted permission to install slot machines. They wasted no time and before long they boosted their earning potential with over a thousand Vegas-style slot machines, bringing a taste of Sin City to this quiet and unassuming section of the Sunshine State.
Whatever floats your boat, from video poker and progressive slots, to classic slots and jackpot slots, Mardi Gras has just what you need. All of these machines are located on several floors that make up a gambling mecca of over 70.000 square feet, all decorated in the joyful and fun-loving spirit of Mardi Gras. The biggest games here are the ones based on popular TV shows and films, with Wheel of Fortune and Indiana Jones proving to be two of the most popular attractions.
The Mardi Gras Casino is also home to the largest collection of linked penny slot machines in the country and is constantly adding to its huge collection with new and exciting games.
During the renovation a poker room was also added. Called the Big Easy Poker Room, this is a great place to sit back and toss some chips with some likeminded people. The poker room has been expanded in recent years to cater for a growing number of visitors, and all games and stake sizes are catered for. The majority of these games are cash games and small-scale sit and go tournaments, but there are larger tournaments available throughout the year.
The poker room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has 30 tables —often jam-packed with eager players —and it also has its own entrance and car-park, which means you don’t have to traipse through the casino floor to get there. As well as a big assortment of poker variants (including the popular games of Hold’em and Omaha) there are also Bad Beat Jackpots, where the unluckiest of losers can collect a roll-over jackpot, and Royal Jackpots, given out to anyone who manages to draw the best available hand in poker.
It’s not all about the gambling at the Mardi Gras Casino. This is a great place to go for a few drinks or a bite to eat, with bars and restaurants open throughout the complex. The highlight of these is the French Quarter, a southern-themed restaurant serving up fine cajun cuisine such as fried popcorn shrimp, seafood gumbo and bang bang chicken. Entertainment at the Mardi Gras is located in their onsite concert venue, where acts such as the southern superstar Leann Rimes, and Aussie rockers Little River Band have performed.
The resort also hosts murder mystery events and other entertainment, and it is located a stone’s throw from some more great attractions, including the Aventura Mall, the Anne Kolb Nature Centre, the Privet Ultra Lounge and the Fate Nightclub.
If sightseeing or nightclubbing is not your style, and your prefer to stay within the resort, then there is a flea market and a gift shop onsite, so feel free to spend your winnings on cheap tat that looks great when you first see it, but will never see the light of day once you get it home and hide it in the attic.
If you love the spirit of Mardi Gras but can’t make it to New Orleans, or if you prefer your entertainment with a little more risk, then the Mardi Gras Casino is perfect for you. No trip to Florida is complete without betting on a greyhound race or risking it all on a blackjack or poker table, and not only can you do both of these things here but you can do them whilst you enjoy a sharp and strong drink or some good southern cooking with a cajun twist.