Racing & Racino Roundup: Horseracing and Casino Action
/ra•ci•no/ noun : a racetrack at which slot machines are available for gamblers
Southern Gaming’s definition of a racino – a racetrack that combines the thrill of racing with gambling & luxuries of a casino.
Webster’s Dictionary can “define” a racino, but racinos are now much more than just slots at a racetrack. In addition to slot machines, many racetracks are now adding table games and elaborate poker rooms. Combine the thrill of live racing & convenience of simulcast racing with the luxuries & gambling experience of a casino…and you’ve hit the jackpot! There is no better place to be than the place that has it all- a Racino.
The South is packed with these relatively new concepts and many are premium establishments that have saved the sport of pari-mutuel racing. Many states latch onto the concept of supplementing declining purses with the revenue from the slot machines and have proven a case for continuing the efforts of doing so. Racetracks that once held purses for less than $5,000, are now hosting top thoroughbreds battling in $50,000 and $100,000 races!
While it may seem a far cry from the Las Vegas strip, with the growing number of these establishments, you might find that racinos are the way to go for the thrill of horseracing and casino action. In this article, we have provided a run-down of some of the top racinos in the South. We hope you will take them into consideration on your next road trip!
Indiana Live! Casino
1-877-386-4463 • Indianalive.com
Indiana Live! Casino is a Vegas-style casino connected to the Indiana Downs clubhouse near Indianapolis, Indiana. The property features an array of eateries including the Makers Mark Bourbon House & Lounge, LIVE! Market Buffet and the NASCAR Grille. When it comes to gaming, the property boasts electronic blackjack, roulette and poker in addition to over 1,800 state-of-the-art slot machines that will give you all of the action you want.
Hoosier Park Casino & Racetrack
1-800-526-7223 • Hoosierpark.com
Marquee events: Indiana Derby, with a $500,000 purse, is the richest Thoroughbred race in the state of Indiana.
Hoosier Park was the first pari-mutuel horse racing track in Indiana. The casino offers 2,000 slot machines and a “High Limit” area for poker players. The casino also attracts major entertainment acts throughout the year that draws great crowds.
Southland Park Racing & Gaming
(West Memphis, Arkansas)
1-800-467-6182 • SouthlandGreyhound.com
Located just across the Mississippi River in West Memphis, Southland Greyhound Park has the distinction of being one of the largest greyhound racing facilities in the world. Southland offers something for everyone – over 800 electronic gaming machines, simulcast racing, a 150-seat juke joint and superb food, as well as Southland’s claim to fame – greyhound racing.
Oaklawn Racing and Gaming Center
(Hot Springs, Arkansas)
1-800-OAKLAWN • Oaklawn.com
Marquee events: The Arkansas Derby on April 15
A recent grandstand expansion provided the park more room for live racing, simulcasting and gaming (both Instant Racing and electronic games of skill). Since opening in May 2009, the new gaming facility features 650 games of skill including cardless poker and blackjack. Phase two of the expansion is expected to be completed in early 2010 and will add more games of skill (up to a total of 1100) including Arkansas’ first electronic poker room, featuring Texas Hold ‘Em.
Mardi Gras Casino
(Hallandale Beach, Florida)
1-877-55-SLOTS • PlayMardiGras.com
Mardi Gras Casino opened its doors in 1934 as The Hollywood Kennel Club. After extensive renovations from 2006-2008, the Big Easy Poker Room and 1,300 slot machines were added to this landmark property. Mardi Gras not only offers live greyhound racing 7 days a week, but also simulcast greyhound, thoroughbred and harness racing from all the top tracks in North America. A mix of Cajun and American cuisine options are available at Mardi Gras Casino, as well as, an outdoor Flea Market.
Delta Downs Casino and Racetrack
1-800-589-7441 • DeltaDowns.com
Delta Downs features over 1600 of the hottest slots situated in roomy Texas-sized aisles, luxurious hotel rooms, 2 restaurants, a food court and a buffet, live horse racing, a state-of the-art Off Track Betting Parlor, live entertainment, special concerts, exciting promotions, and so much more. The property was one of the first to combine horseracing with casino action and has reinvented the racino experience.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino
1-866-472-2466 • Evangelinedowns.com
Marquee events: Evangeline Mile Handicap, $200,000 purse
This historic racino located in the heart of Cajun country has been a popular stop for those seeking the thrill of top slots and big jackpots. The property has renovated and rejuvenated their slot floor to include an array of player benefits including an all new high limit slot area.
Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
1-504-944-5515 • FairGroundsRaceCourse.com
Marquee events: Louisiana Derby, $600,000 purse
Fair Grounds Race Course was laid out in 1852, making it the oldest track in America. Fair Grounds also host the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in late April and early May.
Victoryland Greyhound Park
1-334-727-0540 • Victoryland.com
Discover the thrill of the chase 52 weeks per year with live greyhound racing and simulcast greyhound & horse racing from all over the country. The Oasis Hotel at Victoryland features 300 tastefully designed guest rooms, including eight suites feature luxurious bedding to provide the ideal setting for your relaxation and the calming of your senses. Each guest room offers all the comforts of home, which include 32” LCD televisions and in room phones featuring touch screens. When it’s time to play, just stroll over to VictoryLand and enjoy live greyhound and simulcast racing or play one of over 6,000 video bingo games at Quincy’s Triple Seven Bingo.
Calder Casino & Race Course
1-954-523-4324 • CalderRaceCourse.com
Calder Casino & Race Course, located on South Florida’s Miami-Dade / Broward county line, offers gaming action with over 1,200 slot machines in the brand new Calder Casino, Thoroughbred horse racing during two consecutive meets, year-round simulcasting, and card games in Studz Poker Club. Studz Poker Club is the 29-table card room located on the first floor of the grandstand at the west entrance, It offers Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud. Daily and specialty tournaments are offered. Amenities include tableside food and beverage service, massage service, and pari-mutuel wagering on live and simulcast Thoroughbred racing.
Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino
1-800-777-TURF • GulfStreamPark.com
Since 1939, Gulfstream Park has been one of the most important venues for horseracing in America. Every January through April, the world’s top contenders pass through Gulfstream Park heading toward Triple Crown glory. In 2006, Gulfstream Park the first pari-mutuel casino in Florida and features 850 Vegas-style slot machines, electronic blackjack and roulette plus 20 live poker tables providing all the action one can handle. February 2010 ushered in a new era with the opening of The Village. A lifestyle center featuring restaurants, retail, and all the nightlife you can handle! The addition of The Village makes Gulfstream Park the only racino of its kind in the world!
Florida is a hot bed for greyhound racing action with fourteen tracks, many of which are adding poker rooms to their facilities. As many of these tracks await legislation (see page 38 for more information) to get gaming licenses to be able to have full-scale casinos, the poker rooms seem to be a big hit in what some consider to be a dying industry.
While these tracks aren’t considered “racinos”, we feel they will still provide with you exciting gaming action. So, we’ve put our feet to the street, and rounded up some of the hottest facilities for playing poker or pooches.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room
(Daytona Beach, Florida)
1-386-252-6484 • DaytonaGreyhound.com
The ultra-modern 53,000 sq.ft. Vegas-style complex has a luxurious expanded poker room, 300 wall-to-wall big screen and flat screen LCD TVs, as well as, private betting carrels to watch your favorite Thoroughbred or Harness Horse Races, Jai-Alai or Greyhound Races from premier tracks around the country. The poker room has 50 tables 35 LCD TV’s for simulcast, and table-side food & beverage service. In the dining room or close to the action, Chef Ron Durigg features an assortment of appetizers, sandwiches and seafood offerings including a fresh catch weekend special. Dining options include the Trackside Clubhouse restaurant, patio dining & a sports bar.
Palm Beach Kennel Club Entertainment Complex
(West Palm Beach, Florida)
1-561-683-2222 • PBKennelClub.com
Exciting greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering since 1932. Visit the Poker Room with 60 tables of action and Florida’s largest multi-table tournaments. Check out over 500 screens of super simulcasts including horse racing, jai alai, harness and greyhound action. Enjoy casual fare in the Terrace or fine dining in the Paddock Restaurant which is open year-round. A retired racer makes a gentle pet.
Derby Lane Race Track & Poker Room
(St. Petersburg, FL)
1-727-812-3339 • DerbyLane.com
One of the oldest greyhound tracks in the nation, Derby Lane has been open since 1925. The track claims to have “the fastest greyhounds in the world.” Derby Lane’s Poker Room offers some of the best promotions and events around. Derby Lane offers both live and simulcast greyhound racing action. Coffee shops, lounges, and concession stands throughout the facility.