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Poker players return to Mardi Gras | Miami Herald grand casi

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-01-24

When Hurricane Irma broke through the roof and flooded everything at Mardi Gras Casino on Sept. 10, gambling industry experts suggested that patrons would flock to neighboring casinos — and would stay away even if the closed Hallandale Beach property reopened.

But revenue figures recently released by the state show otherwise. The casino’s Big Easy Poker room garnered $453,511 in revenues since reopening Dec. 1, outpacing Gulfstream Park to the south ($386,943) and the Casino @ Dania Beach to the north ($163,931). (Poker rooms make money by pulling $1 to $5 from each pot won.) Gulfstream and Dania figures were down about 25 percent from the previous month, when Mardi Gras was closed.

The numbers show what some might intuitively think: Players pick the poker room based on the people; a casino card room, after a while, takes on the vibe of a very large game in someone’s house.

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“I’m a very loyal person,” said Andy Kay, of Hallandale Beach. “I’ve always been treated well here, so I’ll keep coming back.

“You don’t mind losing if you’re having fun.”


Andy Kay of Hallandale Beach was among the regulars who returned to play poker at Mardi Gras Casino’s Big Easy poker room.

Nick Sortal

Kay said he played elsewhere when Mardi Gras was closed, but was eager to see the many acquaintances he has made playing the past five years or more at Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras’ poker action also is newsworthy because the slots portion of the casino is still closed because of the storm. That means visits by couples — the wife plays slots, the husband plays poker — still aren’t viable, and won’t be for another couple of months, officials say.

Meanwhile, Mardi Gras Casino made news last week when The Miami Herald reported that developer Jeffrey Soffer was buying the property. Soffer, who also owns the Fontainebleau Resort and the Aventura Mall, had wanted the state to approve hotel-resort casinos, but the state Legislature is far, far away from doing anything like that. So my take is that he just has an interest in the casino business, and the Mardi Gras property, which takes up several blocks west of Federal Highway, is a good spot. And if the Legislature approves laws that benefit the business, so much the better.

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Columnist Nick Sortal

AL DIAZ [email protected]

The casino is one of several that had been owned by Hartman and Tyner Inc. But Tyner died in 2015, and bad blood has ensued. So the company is selling the casino here and their facility in West Virginia.


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