Pardon my skepticism, but I'll believe this alleged $65.5 million sale of Dania Jai Alai when the deal actually closes.
Because we've seen this story before.
The same group (a low-profile local consortium named Dania Entertainment) had a deal to buy the fronton -- and its unused slot machine license -- from Boyd Gaming a couple years ago for a larger sum ($80 million). But the deal fell through when the group failed to come up with the money by the deadline.
The group lost a hefty down payment ($7 million), which resulted in a lawsuit.
Now the group will get to apply that money and another $4 million deposit toward the new deal. That still leaves another $54 million to go.
The banking and investment environment is a bit more favorable now, but it's still going to be a tough road. The fronton needs a lot of redevelopment, and even with the addition of slots, it faces stiff competition in a locally glutted market.
Within a 7-mile radius of Dania are four established casino/racinos: the Seminole Hard Rock, Seminole Classic, Mardi Gras dog track and Gulfstream Park thoroughbred track.
One thing in Dania's favor: location. It's the closest parimutuel to the airport, Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale beach/downtown. It also has the potential for boat/water access from a nearby canal.
I'm rooting for good things to happen to the site, because I'm a Dania Beach resident and poker room regular.
But until the deal is finalized -- and the full sale amount is paid -- I wouldn't get too excited.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times