Although gambling is technically illegal in Miami, there are plenty of loopholes that allow all kinds of wagering. Gamblers can try their luck at offshore casinos or on shore at bingo, jai alai, card rooms, horse tracks, dog races, and Native American reservations. The newly reopened Hialeah Park Racing (www.hialeahparkracing.com) has thoroughbred and quarter horse racing and sometime in the near future, because no racetrack in Florida is complete without it, poker and slot machines. For slots and poker, you can check out the Magic City Casino, five minutes from the airport and downtown Miami at 450 NW 37th Ave (tel. 888/56-MAGIC [566-2442]; www.magiccitycasino.com), but we recommend you stick with the brand new casino at Calder Casino & Race Course, located by Sun Life Stadium at 21001 NW 27th Ave. in Miami Gardens (tel. 305/625-1311; www.calderracecourse.com), featuring 1,200 slot machines, poker, and horse racing. You can also drive up to Broward County, where the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (www.seminolehardrock.com), Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (www.seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com), Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming (www.playmardigras.com), Isle Casino & Racing (www.pompano-park.isleofcapricasinos.com), and the new and still expanding Gulfstream Park Casino and Racing (www.gulfstreampark.com) in Hallandale offer slots, poker, and in the cases of Hard Rock and Gulfstream, blackjack too.
Despite the Hard Rock in Hollywood's behemoth presence on the gambling circuit (and its many imitators), some people prefer the less flashy Miccosukee Indian Gaming, 500 SW 177th Ave. (off S.R. 41, in West Miami, on the outskirts of the Everglades; tel. 800/741-4600 or 305/222-4600), where a touch of Vegas meets west Miami. This tacky casino isn't Caesar's Palace, but you can play tab slots, high-speed bingo (watch out for the serious blue-haired players who will scoff if you make too much noise or if you win before they do), and even poker (with more tables added now that they're competing with Seminole Hard Rock). With more than 85,000 square feet of playing space, the complex even provides overnight accommodations for those who can't get enough of the thrill and don't want to make the approximately 1-hour trip back to downtown Miami. Take the Florida Turnpike south toward Florida City/Key West. Take the SW Eighth Street exit (no. 25) and turn left onto SW Eighth Street. Drive for about 3 1/2 miles and then turn left onto Krome Avenue, and left again at 177th Street; you can't miss it.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.