A Guide to Florida's Casinos
By Lauren Tjaden
It’s been said that ‘money won is twice as sweet as money earned,’ and if you’ve ever risked a bundle on a game of blackjack and been rewarded with a blockbuster win, you know it’s true. But whether you’re an experienced gambler or are yearning for the excitement of placing your first bet, it’s a sure wager that Florida will please.
In East Central Florida’s Port Canaveral, you can climb aboard the Victory Casino Cruise boat for a spot-on Vegas gaming experience that earns rave reviews for its four different gaming decks, tasty food, drinks and live music.
On the state’s West Central coast, you’ll find the mammoth 245,000 square- foot Seminole Hard Rock Tampa -- the sixth-largest casino in the world—packed with a tempting and astounding array of slots, table games and poker.
And in Hallandale Beach, sited against the sunny shores of South West Florida, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino welcomes you with entertainment, live horse racing, and casino gaming that includes 850 slot machines as well as 20 live-action poker tables.
But that's just the beginning of gaming fun in Florida. Here’s a list where you can discover the offerings in your neck of the Sunshine State.
Casinos in South Florida
Situated just north of Hard Rock Stadium, Calder Casino is a more than a mecca for gamblers; it’s also a hub for live concerts, entertainment and dining that includes a sumptuous buffet.
Games offered: Slots, table games, bingo, simulcasting
Special feature: Calder’s promotions up the ante with heady every day giveaways, from new cars to Free Play and cash.
Expect to discover world-class comedy, music and other entertainment; dining options that include a sophisticated restaurant as well as a sports bar and grill, and weekly promotions at this friendly, clean casino.
Games offered: Slots, video poker, poker, daily simulcasting of Thoroughbred/harness racing and jai-alai
Special Features: The Casino features live jai-alai seasonally, a sport showcasing athletes leaping in the air to return balls that are travelling at the blistering pace of 190 mph. You can just watch for fun or bet on your fav players.
At this casino, you can experience free entertainment and dance away the night at the Rio Club, up your odds with a host of promotions, and take your chances at over 1,000 state-of-the-art Las Vegas-style slot machines, electronic table games featuring Blackjack and Roulette, and sizzling-hot poker tables.
Games offered: Slots, electronic games, poker, jai-alai and simulcasting
Special Features: Enjoy live jai-alai seasonally as well as daily simulcasting of jai-alai and harness racing.
Horse racing, slots and a shopping and dining village make for an epic combination at Gulfstream Park, open every day of the year.
Games offered: Slots, video poker, video blackjack, poker, live Thoroughbred racing and simulcasting
Special Features: Gulfstream boasts electrifying, live Thoroughbred racing seasonally as well as daily simulcasting of Thoroughbred racing. Their outdoor shopping area contains an assortment of shops that include everything from eclectic art galleries to fashionista favorites like Atelier Couture in addition to over 20 restaurants, bars and nightspots.
Encompassing 200 acres of perfectly-groomed grounds, vibrant gardens and historical architecture, magnificent Hialeah Park whisks you back to an age of iconic glamour. A South Florida fixture for more than 90 years, it’s widely regarded as “the world’s most beautiful horse race course.” Anticipate an elegant casino overlooking the grounds and track, an array of dining options, and stimulating entertainment.
Games offered: Slots, Video Poker, Poker, live Quarter Horse racing seasonally
Special Features: This must-see casino offers Quarter Horse racing, but that’s not the only way it’s unusual. Hialeah has earned the designation as an Audubon Bird Sanctuary, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is famed for its flock of vividly-colored flamingos.
Gaming! Racing! Restaurants! Events! Isle Casino promises them all, with a lush poker room, world-class Standardbred racing, and dining options that include Myron’s Crab Cavern, heralded for its generous seafood buckets.
Games offered: Slots, video poker, video blackjack, poker, live evening harness racing seasonally and daily simulcasting of Thoroughbred/harness racing and jai-alai
Special Features: Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park holds bragging rights as the "Winter Capital of Harness Racing," providing a handsome warm-weather destination for top-ranked trotters and pacers and their award-winning trainers and drivers since 1964.
Magic City Casino tempts visitors with Las Vegas style games and Miami style fun. Slots, poker, sports, music and the finest entertainment the city can muster blend to make every visit to the Casino exhilarating.
Games offered: Slots, video poker, video blackjack, poker, jai alia, simulcasting of harness racing
Special Features: Magic City Casino pays more jackpots than any other casino in Miami.
Nestled in the core of the Everglades, the 70,000 square-foot Miccosukee Resort & Gaming Center boasts grand entertainment, almost 2,000 slots, high-stakes bingo, gaming fun and the biggest payouts in town—plus you can stay the night in its decadent accommodations. Foodies will delight in the eateries and nightlife, which include the Empeeke Aaweeke International buffet and its don’t-miss à la carte breakfast menu.
Games offered: Slots, bingo, poker
Special Features: The Resort enjoys a convenient location near Miami airport and the Everglades, and delivers amenities like free parking, a generous pool, full-service spa, and perks like kids menus and kids-eat-free restaurant programs.
This 27,000 square foot casino, sited far from the big city in South-Central Florida, garners high praise for its cleanliness and friendly service. It provides 400-plus slot and gaming machines, table games and high-stake bingo. Its Josiah Restaurant serves up tasty comfort food, including what’s billed as the ‘Best Steak on the Lake.’
Games offered: Slots, bingo, table games
Special Features: The Seminole Wild Card lets you earn and redeem Comp Dollars at all of the Seminole Casino properties located in Florida; that means you can play in Brighton and dine in Tampa, play in Coconut Creek and spend a night in Hollywood, or any combination you choose.
Just a short jog west of downtown, this popular 76,000-square-foot casino houses 1,300 slot machines; 38 tables for games that include poker, blackjack and Texas hold ‘em; and the EE-TO-LEET-KE Grill, where you can savor dishes like its award-winning twin-lobster tails, succulent prime rib and authentic, handmade Seminole fry bread. Its entertainment is legendary, with concerts, comedy shows and all-day outdoor festivals.
Games offered: Slots, table games, video poker, poker
Special Features: After you play, you can stay in the Seminole Casino Hotel, an upscale, oh-so-comfy 80-room, 19-suite hotel.
You can look forward to a 73,500-square foot casino floor humming with 1,000 slots at this Fort Lauderdale area Casino as well as action-packed live table games and a gigantic high-stakes bingo room. Dining options include mouth-watering burgers at the Flying Cow and Asian fare at Soygood. Live entertainment and bars and lounges round out the amenities.
Games offered: Slots, table games, bingo
Special Features: When it opened in 1979, Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood established Indian gaming with the country’s first large-stakes bingo hall, which quickly grew to include to gaming machines and poker. Today, you can play with your Seminole Wild Card to earn Comp Dollars, which you can redeem at other Seminole Casinos; use them for games or bars, lounges and other non-gaming amenities.
Over 2000 Las Vegas-style slots, lively entertainment and a smoke-free floor with table games and a lounge await you at this casino. Foodies will rejoice at the eateries, which include the award-winning NYY Steak which earns high praise not only for its hand-selected prime steaks, aged in the casino’s own in-house Butcher Shop, but also its vast selection of wines.
Games offered: Slots, table games, poker
Special Features: If you like table games, you’ll love Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek: it sets the standard with 190 live table games like blackjack, baccarat, mini-baccarat, 3-card poker, ultimate Texas hold ’em, pai gow poker, Spanish 21, and casino war.
Modern and colorful, the Hard Rock Hollywood casino boasts 3,100 slots, nearly 200 table Games and a new 45-table poker room. It offers a vast assortment of fine and contemporary dining; a staggering wealth of nightlife and entertainment; and bars and lounges that invite you to party like a rock star. The AAA Four Diamond-rated, Green Lodging Certified hotel is a luxe affair festooned with authentic music memorabilia; amenities range from pools and cabanas to shopping and a spa.
Games offered: Slots, table games, poker
Special Features: The Guitar Hotel is built to look like back-to-back guitars, a grand work-of-art that towers 450 feet into the sky and accommodates 638 luxury guest rooms and suites.
Huge by any standard, this casino has a cool, high-energy vibe, with classic Hard Rock music memorabilia adorning the casino walls and floor and music videos playing. It’s a gaming paradise brimming with slot machines and table games featuring blackjack, baccarat and live action poker, complete with amenities like a stylish, AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel, exceptional fine and casual dining, and mind-blowing entertainment.
Games offered: Slots, table games, poker
Special Features: The colossal, 245,000 square-foot casino is the sixth-largest on the entire planet.
The Big Easy Casino, Hallandale Beach
This gaming destination serves up a distinctive experience, delivering 70,000-plus square-feet of casino packed with 1,300 slots of every variety, 30 poker tables and simulcast action that invites you to watch and wager on tracks from South Florida to California. Casual, contemporary dining at several eateries and entertainment round out the package.
Games offered: Slots, poker, simulcasts
Special Features: Make sure to try the Big Easy’s original signature drink, the ‘Wrong Island Ice Tea.’
Casinos in Central Florida
Reviews of this 465-passenger boat note that it’s not a glamorous casino, but praise its friendly staff, cleanliness, good food and low $5 minimum for playing blackjack. It departs on high tide from the dock on Pithlachascotee River off of US 19 in Port Richey.
Games offered: Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker
Special Features: As one customer points out, ‘We paid $8 to go and it included a free drink; how can you go wrong?’
Escape with an invigorating five or six-hour cruise off of Florida’s Space Coast with Victory Casino Cruises, departing from Port Canaveral. It’s a sure bet your trip will be action-packed: the cruise offers gaming that includes 600 slot machines, 27 live casino gaming tables, five bars, two dining rooms and a Sportsbook Lounge. Big Norm’s Club V entertainment lounge treats visitors to free shows and has a dance floor where you can groove to the tunes.
Games offered: Slots, roulette, craps, poker, sportsbook
Special Features: This cruise features Florida’s only live roulette and live craps tables. The Sportsbook Lounge is the only sportsbook in the state, taking bets on basketball, football, baseball, soccer, boxing, MMA, hockey, and other sports.
For information about Florida gambling rules and regulations, check out americancasinoguide.com/florida.