Thanks to whatever changes in the gaming and racing laws (it's hard to keep track), there's finally a pseudo-casino within City of Miami limits: The Magic City Casino. It's in a new building on the site of the old Flagler Dog Track, in that west-ish area of the county between the airport and Coral Gables.
The good about this: There is poker as well as video gaming (with "Vegas-style slot machines"), and the site overall looks far less depressing than it did. (It seems that scrappy flea market is out too). The bad: There are no table games, if that's your thing, and, sadly, the dog track is still there, and operational. Sure, the place's site makes a nod to adopting a retired greyhound, but dog racing is sleazy and its unnecessary sadness is well documented.
But alright, the music/nightlife part of this -- the casino aims to be an entertainment destination, so there are a number of live performances scheduled coming up. With one of the best party deals in town, the place is hosting a number of New Year's Eve activities with completely free entry and drink specials. In the Tres Hermanos Bar, a live DJ spins from 11:30 to 2 a.m., there's a champagne toast at midnight, and throughout the rest of the casino, there are cash drawings, giveaways, and $3 mojitos.
If your New Year's Eve plans, however, don't end up involving Le Jeune Road, if you enjoy throwing your money away, the casino is still worth checking out. Especially because it's got a line-up of weekend concerts to distract you from financial pain. The line-up is after the jump. The Latin concerts are decent outings for your parents; everything else is pretty much what you'd expect from a casino, but most shows are in the afternoon anyways. The crazy thing is, according to their online ticket-buying widget, tickets to see the Guess Who seem to be in pretty high demand.
Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami. 888-56-MAGIC; magiccitycasino.com
January 2: The Commodores
January 9: WAR (3 p.m.)
January 16: Arturo Sandoval (7 p.m.)
January 23: Nestor Torres (7 p.m.)
February 6: Los Lobos (3 p.m.)
February 21: America (3 p.m.)
March 7: Otis Day & the Knights (3 p.m.)
March 21: The Guess Who (3 p.m.)