87ºF

Dania Beach casino reopens

Dania Entertainment Center opens after $60 million renovation

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – There's a new place to play. The Dania Beach casino opened its doors Wednesday afternoon.

It has been called the fastest sport played by man, and Wednesday, Dania Beach Jai Alai was reborn as the Dania Entertainment Center after a $60 million renovation. It took three months to the renovate the Fronton and Casino, but the sport that has been played there for 62 years is on showcase once again.

"The Fronton has been totally redone," said Dania Entertainment Center CEO Scott Savin. "It is brand new seating. 500 seats, a brand new court, scoreboard, everything is new in there."

Fans of the sport, who remember it in its heyday showed up to see the new look.

Rich Boezio Has been going to the casino since the 70s.

"Oh, I love what they have done," he said. "Look how beautiful. How could you go wrong with this? I have been coming since the 70s to this place, when they had Jai Alai all the time and the place was jam packed, there were so many people you couldn't even get a seat here."

The new casino floor has also been completely redone. After changing owners over the past few years, the family that owns and runs Magic City Casino in Miami signed on to turn this facility into a player. They closed down last October and have been working furiously to get the new casino open for a soft open Tuesday. It certainly had that new casino smell.

"Eight-hundred, eighty games and we have everything from the games that have been in casinos for 50 years, like Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly, the Top Dollar to the newest games. Brittany Spears, Dragon Spins, all kinds of progressives and bonus games," Savin said.

Patrons will be pleased to see a new expansive valet parking entrance, and the second floor has a 23-table poker room, a sports bar and a simulcast lounge. But Savin said there will be more to the casino place than just Jai Alai and a slew of slots.

"At the end of the month, we will open up what we call Stage 954, which is an entertainment venue that seats 850 people," Savin said. "(The) first act in will be Jefferson Starship, along with Gary Puckett."