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Dania Jai-Alai casino could open in January

Sun Sentinel
Dania Jai-Alai casino continues construction.

For those of you who have driven along Dania Beach Boulevard recently and still see a gutted jai-alai fronton: Don't worry; the casino is coming together as planned.

Scott Savin, CEO of the yet-to-be-named casino, said an opening is likely in January. An exact date will be announced later.

"It's a moving target," he said. "We want to have walls before we open."

Savin, who in May had predicted the work would be done in December, said recent rainy weather has pushed back plans a couple of weeks.

"This week hasn't been great, but maybe next week will be sunny," he said.

Savin is also chief operating officer of Magic City Casino (formerly Flagler Dog Track), which bought one-fourth of Dania Jai-Alai last year. The Magic City team, which operates the most lucrative casino in Miami-Dade County, will run the new Dania casino, in a partnership with a group of Argentine investors.

A job fair will be held later this year, with dates to be announced toward the end of this month, he said.

The casino at Dania is the fourth racetrack casino in Broward County. Gulfstream Park and Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach were offering slots by 2006 after Broward voters approved them in 2004. But Dania parent company Boyd Gaming held off on installing slots. Boyd then announced a sale to local investors in 2011, only for financing to fall through.

Then Argentine businessmen bought the fronton in 2013 and opened one-fourth of the building with slots and poker on Feb. 14, 2014, only to close it eight months later in order to just go for the full makeover.

Savin said the jai-alai will be intertwined with the casino, with a large video screen showing the action to those at the approximately 900 slot machines and 30 poker tables.

NSortal@SouthFlorida.com

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