5:46 p.m. EDT, October 15, 2013
The Hialeah Park poker room was flush with customers in its first full month, with pretty much a full house.
The new poker room outearned its south Broward and Miami-Dade competitors, with $692,417 in September revenue. That’s well ahead of nearby Magic City Casino ($491,097) and Casino Miami Jai-Alai ($251,923) and swamps nearby Calder Casino and Race Course in Miami Gardens ($221,375) and Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino ($392,346) and Mardi Gras Casino ($364,082) in Hallandale Beach.
“We’re trying to provide good service and a good experience for the customers,” said Hialeah General Manager Steve Calabro, who hired the former Miami Jai-Alai poker director, Nelson Costa, to run the room.
Hialeah Park, which opened, Aug. 14, is getting a late start because it was not among the three Miami-Dade pari-mutuels that voters approved in 2008 for slots. But the Florida Legislature approved them in 2010 and Hialeah survived Florida Supreme Court challenges by rivals.
With less competition in north Broward, the poker room at Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach earned $868,565 in September and the Palm Beach Kennel Club earned $854,155.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida isn’t required to release revenue figures.
Hialeah’s first full month of slot revenues were more in line with projections, with the casino pulling about $1 million each from its two nearest competitors. Magic City collected $5.8 million via slots, Hialeah $4.7 million and Casino Miami Jai-Alai $4.3 million.
Calabro also had pledged that Hialeah would have the best payback percentage of any casino. It tied with Magic City, with both returning 93.75 percent of each slot dollar played.
I know Hialeah had hot poker giveaways/high hands, but so did most other card rooms. So, I’m trying to figure out, why did they have such a huge month.
Reader thoughts? Email me at NSortal@Sun-Sentinel.com if you don’t want to bother with our registration process.