Dec. 3 marked the start of the horseracing season at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-454-7000, GulfstreamPark.com). The 2016-2017 Championship Meet runs until April 2, a day after the $1 million Florida Derby.
The $12.6 million meet has stakes every Saturday except Dec. 24. There's live racing from Wednesdays to Sundays, with an average of 10 races per day.
On Jan. 28 the park will host the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, which is being billed as "the world's richest thoroughbred horse race," as well as the $400,000 Poseidon.
"We have a Racing Ambassador Program this year," says Nancy Berry, Gulfstream's senior racing ambassador. "It's a free service that teaches handicapping and how to bet the races."
Details are at Gulfstream's website.
This is South Florida's cool, dry season, so even if you're not wagering, go to enjoy the great weather and athletic horses. Admission and parking are free.
The harness-racing season Isle Casino Racing (777 Isle of Capri Circle, Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com) goes until May 30, with races nightly from Saturday to Wednesday.
The racing season at Hialeah Park Racing and Casino (2200 E. Fourth Ave., 305-885-8000, HialeahPark.com) still hasn't been announced.
Comedian Chris Rock will perform standup at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800-937-0010, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com) on March 29. Rock's "Total Blackout Tour 2017" will be his first in almost a decade.
Tickets ($65-$180) go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9, through Ticketmaster. "Presale tickets" became available on Wednesday through the Hard Rock's Facebook and Twitter pages.
TV party at Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com) has revamped its Big Easy Poker Room with 13 new 65-inch TVs. David Litvin, director of poker operations, says it's now the best place to watch football games and play poker. "We also rearranged some of the TVs," he says. "Put it all together and it makes for a wildly enhanced viewing experience in the room."
Spare a quarter?
The Casino at Dania Beach (301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., 954-920-1511, CasinoDaniaBeach.com) has introduced a bunch of new video games, including Plants vs. Zombies 3D: Ancient Egypt, Crazy Money Deluxe and Invaders More Moolah.