Slot machines, card tables new obstacles at dog track

Scenes From Miami

Super Bowl

January 31, 2007|By Peter Schmuck

The Hollywood Greyhound Track in nearby Hallandale Beach used to be a no-frills pari-mutuel facility frequented by PETA-unfriendly gambling degenerates and handsome out-of-town sportswriters, but not anymore.

Through the miracle of slots legislation, it has been transformed into the Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center, complete with hundreds of slot machines, scores of simulcast screens, dozens of poker tables and - oh, yeah - the occasional dog race.

I liked it better before. There was something refreshingly sleazy about the place before all the plastic and neon was installed. Now it's crawling with hundreds of (ugh!) regular people who wouldn't know a superfecta from a submarine.

In fact, the real racing fans have been relegated to an area upstairs where they won't bother the coin-crazies who now are paying most of the freight. The perambulating pooches just seem like an afterthought.

If we ever get slots in Maryland, let's make sure that horse racing doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

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