Getting lucky – Review of the miami casino scene

Glitz, glamour, and nightlife are Miami’s hallmarks. Casinos and clubs are plentiful, as is a lively nightlife scene. Though gambling is illegal in Florida, numerous cruise ship casinos depart from Miami which offer Las Vegas-style gaming right off the Florida coast.

Biggest and best ships

Casino cruises departing from the Port of Miami offer the ultimate casino experience. There are hundreds of poker rooms and thousands of slot machines on board. The biggest casinos can be found on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships, including the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas. This behemoth ship has a casino that sprawls over 15,000 square feet on two levels, with everything from craps and roulette to 3-card poker and Texas Hold’em. Other top options for cruises out of Miami include Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape, featuring a two-level casino with over 250 slot machines and 28 gaming tables, and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista, with hundreds of slots and over a dozen table games. The ships depart Miami on alternating days, heading to destinations like the Bahamas, Caribbean islands, Mexico, and beyond, but you don’t have to step foot off the ship if the casino is your top priority.

For smaller casinos

If you’re looking for a quicker getaway and don’t need a Vegas-sized casino, there are still great options leaving Miami. Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and other luxury lines have smaller ships that offer intimate, upscale casinos for their passengers. For example, the 930-passenger Seven Seas Explorer from Regent has an elegant casino lounge with dozens of slots and 17 table games. In addition to multi-night cruises, many ships offer quick 2-night weekend getaway cruises out of Miami. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky offers a lively 30,000-square-foot casino on its weekend Bahamas trips. Casino cruises aboard the 1,936-passenger Carnival Victory are a lot of fun and affordable. Its colorful casino has 255 slot machines plus gaming tables offering blackjack, roulette, craps and more.

Going big on bimini

The nearby Bahamian island of Bimini is a gambling hotspot thanks to Resorts World Bimini, which opened a luxury casino hotel complex there in 2015. 50 miles off Miami, this stunning 750-acre resort boasts a 15,000-square-foot casino. Visitors get their casino fix by taking a quick flight to Bimini or by arriving in style on the Resort World Bimini SuperFast cruise ship. With over 390 slots and two dozen table games including blackjack and Caribbean stud poker, the Bimini casino packs a punch. Enjoy a spa treatment or relax at the hotel’s lagoon-style pool after a night at the tables or slots. When not gambling, Bimini offers a chance to relax on white sand beaches and go snorkeling or fishing in the turquoise waters of this tropical Bahamian escape.

Where to play in miami?

Though commercial casinos cannot be built within Florida, Miami still has some casino gaming options along with widespread racetrack betting. For slot machine cool training within city limits, head to Magic City Casino – one of several casinos in Miami belonging to the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Virtual blackjack tables, as well as slot machines, dominate the gaming floor. Concerts, comedy shows, and sports watch parties take place at Magic City.

On designated “cruise to nowhere” days, ships like Victory Casino Cruises offer daytime and evening casino cruises that take passengers out beyond Florida’s territorial waters where gambling is allowed onboard. In addition to 600+ slots, there are dozens of Vegas-style table games on board. Miami has thoroughbred racing, greyhound racing, and jai alai for parimutuel betting. Miami’s Magic City Casino offers greyhound racing, Gulfstream Park has live thoroughbred racing, and The Casino at Dania Beach features jai alai matches. So if you want to try out betting on the ponies, dogs, or jai alai when the casino ships aren’t running, Miami has onshore options for bettors.