Friday, January 5, 2007

Mardi Gras Slot Machines Arrive

After many months of waiting, slot machines are now available at Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center in Hallandale Beach.

The new Vegas-style slots follow those added recently at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino.

Voters approved a measure nearly two years ago to allow residents of Broward and Miami-Dade counties to decide whether they wanted slots at pari-mutuels. Broward approved the measure in March 2005, but it was rejected in Miami-Dade.

The Mardi Gras Racetrack slots are planned as the cornerstone of a redevelopment with a million square feet of retail space, a 320-room hotel and high-end restaurants.

Dan Adkins, with Mardi Gras Casino, said that they have installed 1,147 slot machines. But, due to state law, there is no ATM machine in the casino. There is a shuttle that will take players to the nearest bank ATM.

Education in Florida will be a sure winner from the machines since 50 percent of the revenue goes to education. In the first month that slot machines were added to Gulfstream Park, Florida education received $3.7 million.