Cha-Ching! Miami's First Casino Breaks Ground

Calder Race Track will be filled with the sweet sounds of slots when the Super Bowl comes to town

Horse racing fans will soon be able to expand their gambling beyond betting on horses.

Churchill Downs Inc. and Calder Race Course broke ground Wednesday on a 104,000-square-foot slots and gaming facility. It will be the county's first casino other than cruise ships.

Churchill Downs said the casino will open early next year before the Super Bowl, which is in Miami. It will have 1,225 slot machines, three restaurants and valet parking.

"It is critically important to put our best foot forward right away," said Tom McDonald, an executive with the race track.

County voters approved slot machines at Miami-Dade horse and dog tracks and jai-alai frontons last year. But Calder officials held off until the Legislature decided to lower the slot tax rate. Down the road, Flagler Race Track is planning to start construction on its own casino that could bring 700 more slots to the area.

Slot machines are already available at tracks and Seminole Indian casinos in north in Broward County.

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