A makeover has taken place at the racetrack I used to visit with my father in the 80's.
The one-armed bandits at Broward's newest and largest Las Vegas-style casino will be smokin' this morning, as Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher and hundreds of other gamblers try their luck at the debut of Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park.Other than the track, I doubt I'd recognize much of the new facility. Harness horse racing or any breed of horse racing, has been in decline the last 10-20 years with racetracks and racing associations closing or going into bankruptcy. The last time I was at the track was five years ago and it was like a ghost town. Pompano Park had to change to survive, and I hope it does. Attending the races is a thing of the past for me and it is unlikely I'll ever be a customer there again.
The Pompano Beach racino --
a combination race track and gambling venue -- opens at 10 a.m. It passed its state inspection Friday after failing it on April 5.
Broward's two other racinos -- Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center and Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, both in Hallandale Beach -- also failed their first inspections for the same reasons that Isle Casino did, mainly, not having proper security measures down pat.
''As with anything, the more you practice the better you get,'' said Isle Casino spokeswoman Jill Haynes.
``It's a new building and it's state of the art, so there were some things that needed to be corrected.''
The $170 million casino, located at 1800 SW 3rd St., features 1,500 slot machines -- the most allowed by state law -- in a lavish, 157,000-square-foot tropical setting.
It features high ceilings, waterfalls, two bars, a deli and a seven-station buffet restaurant. Next month it will add a southern Italian restaurant and a steakhouse.
The staff had to pass dozens of tests, including detecting counterfeit currency and preventing handbag theft, and the venue was required to have a compulsive-gambling program in place. The state also tests all of the slot machines to make sure they meet the state-mandated payout rate of 85 percent.
Among the tests that tripped up the Isle Casino the first time: problems with the panic alarm procedures, reacting to bomb threats, spotting counterfeit currency and preventing handbag theft.
Linked to- Basil, Point Five,