Broward News

Revamped Dania Casino and Jai Alai Off to Slow Start, According to Recently Released Numbers

There's one rule about casinos: you always lose. No matter how much of your pocket change you dump into that slot machine, you're always the sucker. That said, it's eye-opening to see on a macro-level which casinos are actually making real money off you and your fellow suckers. Unfortunately for the brand-spankin' new Dania Casino and Jai Alai, so far they've fallen into the latter category.

It's been 70 days since the facility re-opened in February outfitted with a $85 million make-over and 550 new slot machines. According to some number crunching by, in that time period, the facility has racked up a total $1.6 million in net-slot-revenue (NSR). On average, that's $43 per slot machine. In April alone, the facility's NSR was $486,000.

As the site points out, that's an "extremely slow start." Consider the Magic City Casino, which does an average $241 per machine.

Dania could pick up steam. But this isn't the only troubling news to come lately out of the casino. As we reported a few weeks back, the Argrentine businessman who owns the majority stake in the business, Cristóbal López, is right now in the middle of an investigation into the gaming industry in his home country. There's little indication how -- if at all -- that probe will impact Dania, López's only stateside property.

Which is all a bummer, because the iconic Jai Alai's latest iteration is a final shot at turning around a troubled property. López and his fellow investors scooped it up in May 2013 for $65.5 million from Boyd Gaming. Compare that with the 2006 sticker price: $152 million.

But as points out, Florida's gaming profits are doing pretty well overall. NSR is up 10 percent from 2013, around $3.38 million. The website projects that if things continue to fly at this steady rate, Florida's overall NSR could be up by 13.5 percent. That would mean an additional $170 million in tax revenues for the state's coffers. With that kind of money pouring in, Rick Scott should be able to, I dunno, drug test every kindergartner in the state.

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Kyle Swenson
Contact: Kyle Swenson