The Best Racinos in Florida

What is a Racino?

In the simplest terms, a racino is the combination of a race track and a casino. The amount of classic casino games available at a racino vary significantly, but most racinos in Florida will at least have horse racing, simulcasting (off-track race betting that you can watch on a screen), and slot machines. Many others will include electronic casino games like poker, blackjack, and roulette, and finally there are some racinos that include poker rooms and an actual casino floor with all the regular casino games.

Two Jockeys Struggle for the Lead

The gambling laws in Florida are ever-evolving, and there’s a lot of gray area surrounding what you can and can’t do and where you can do it. The bottom line is that some gambling is legal. Pari-mutuel gambling (a form of gambling where all bets are placed in a pool and the house takes a cut) is legal for horse racing and card room poker, and then in Miami-Dade and Broward County, slot machines are also legal. Additionally, you can gamble at a casino establishment on Seminole land. Currently, a bill to expand gambling laws in Florida (which would include online sports betting) has been passed by the state Senate and is waiting in the House.

There are 25+ racinos you can visit in Florida, but an increasing number of them are abandoning their live racing component and providing the utilities for simulcasting only. The majority of them are found in the greater Miami/Broward County area, but you also have options near Tampa Bay, Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville.

What are the Best Racinos in Florida to Visit? 

1. Gulfstream Park

view from above at gulfstream park casino

Located in Hallandale Beach, Gulfstream Park is a true entertainment destination. It’s the place to go in South Florida for thoroughbred horse racing with its internationally acclaimed racetrack that seats over 16,000 people, but the fun only starts there. Gulfstream Park’s casino facilities feature 700+ real money slots with 60+ high limit slot games and over 20 poker rooms for both casual and high stakes players. Additionally, the racino offers live shows, events, and other leisure activities so you’ll never run out of stuff to do.

2. Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park

The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park is located on Pompano Beach, minutes outside of Fort Lauderdale. While it’s best known for its state of the art harness racing track, the racino is fully equipped with 1,500 slot machines and over 40 poker tables featuring 3-Card Poker, 1-Card Poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The facility is also home to six different restaurants and features live entertainment every night of the week.

3. Calder Casino

Calder Casino

Calder Casino in Miami Gardens has two race tracks and is home to thoroughbred horse racing in the fall. The casino has no human card dealers, but does feature over 1,100 slot machines, video poker games, and other eTable games like Roulette, Black Jack, 3-Card Poker, and Bingo.

4. Tampa Bay Downs

The Tampa Bay Downs is primarily a race track. It hosts two big annual races, the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (which is an official prep race for the Kentucky Derby), and the Hillsborough Stakes, in addition to the 3-4 days a week with live racing. It’s open just about every day of the year so you can go there to simulcast if there are no live races that day. The racino also has a poker room with live tournaments in Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and other Stud games.

5. Hialeah Park Race Track

Hialeah Park Casino

The Hialeah Park Race Track is an historic track that opened in 1922, and although they discontinued all live racing back in 2001, they still offer simulcasting pari-mutuel betting. Their casino features Vegas-style slot machines with progressive jackpots, electronic Black Jack and Roulette, and a 30-table poker room with Texas Hold’em, 7-Card Stud, and Omaha Hi-Lo.

  • What’s the difference between a casino and a racino?
  • Are there regular casino games at a racino?
  • What is simulcasting?