Gulfstream Park Casino Florida Review for 2024

Lynsey Thompson

Updated by Lynsey Thompson

Writer

Michael Graham

Fact Checked by Michael Graham

Content Editor

Last Updated 22nd Jul 2024, 03:23 PM

Gulfstream Park is more than just a casino. In fact, the casino is only one very small part of it. It is actually most known as South Florida's home of thoroughbred horse racing. 

But that’s not all, Gulfstream Park is actually an expansive entertainment destination with an array of restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, live shows, and leisure activities.

Located in Hallandale Beach, Gulfstream Park is nestled amongst lush green landscapes and crystal clear waters, and offers a one-stop-shop in fun and recreation.

Gulfstream Park is home to the prestigious Florida Derby, so it already commands a rich history in US gambling. The casino has been part of the site since its early beginnings but the whole complex has expanded and developed continually since.

What is it like to actually gamble at Gulfstream Park in 2024 though? Read my review to find out.

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♦️ An Overview of Gulfstream Park Casino

The Gulfstream Park Casino was the first building to be constructed when Gulfstream Park first opened in 1939.

Unfortunately, it didn’t open with much success, but that wasn’t the casino’s fault. Gulfstream Park launched with a four-day racing event, and then promptly went bankrupt on day four and closed. 

It reopened in 1944 and has since gone from strength to strength becoming one of the most important and celebrated horse racing locations in the US.

Slots weren’t introduced to the casino until 2006, but the casino of today now has two floors of slots and is located in Gulfstream Park’s modern four-storey Clubhouse.

I’ll be honest: when I first arrived at Gulfstream Park it was a little bit overwhelming. I’m used to impressive, often brand new casinos with huge features outside or extravagant theming, but this place isn’t just a casino, its an entire village. 

From the outside it looked more like a huge shopping outlet with boutique shops, restaurants, statues, garden areas, rock features, paved walkways, fountains, and outdoor cafes. It felt like its own community.

At the centre of the village was, of course, the Gulfstream Park race track, which is the main attraction by far. At the entrance, I came across a giant 110 foot fire-breathing bronze statue of Pegasus slaying a dragon, which was unexpected but every bit as awesome as it sounds. 

For any fact fans out there, the Gulfstream Park Pegasus and Dragon statue is actually the second largest statue in the US after the Statue of Liberty.

Because the casino is located in the main Clubhouse, in order to get there, you have to walk past the main Walking Ring paddock, where they parade the horses, and look for the casino sign. It was certainly a different casino exterior than I’m used to.

Inside the casino were two gaming floors with a combined space of 19,500 square feet. Downstairs looked a little dated to me, with plain walls and patterned carpets, Upstairs was more modern, though, with some added colour and feature lighting. 

The general atmosphere was quite subdued on the day I visited. I went on a non-race day and was surprised with how quiet it was. I was told that the atmosphere is entirely different on race days though.

I didn’t see any waitresses but I saw a self-serve soda machine dispensing free water and soft drinks. The casino was also smoke-free.

Although the casino is open every day, there are restrictions in place. Level Two is open daily 10am until 4pm, but Level One is only open Thursday to Sunday from noon to midnight.

🎰 Games at Gulfstream Park Casino

Gulfstream Park casino has around 800 slots, some electronic table games, and live poker games.

The casino is split over two floors and offers a range of games including a small selection of traditional three-reel games and lots of modern video slots.

I saw classic games such as Wheel of Fortune, Royal Reels and Diamond Lotto, as well as newer games including Buffalo Link, Dragon Link, and Coin Trio. I can never resist a go on Dragon Link, so I played for a while upstairs and ended up around $70 up. 

Although there isn’t a separate high limit area, the second floor of Gulfstream Park Casino has some high denomination slots for those who prefer to play higher stakes.

If you enjoy table games, then unfortunately there aren’t any live games. This for me was probably why the atmosphere felt a little subdued to what I’m used to. You can find electronic versions of blackjack, craps, and roulette on both floors, though. 

I got the sense that the casino tends of be quiet on weekdays when there isn’t a race meet on. However, another slot player told me that race days can get really busy with lots of people coming in and out, as do weekends. 

I did think there were a lot of slots at Gulfstream Park for the amount of floor space. It does mean that in some areas the games were packed tightly together, but it also means that there was plenty of game variety too.

Poker games are on offer at Gulfstream Park in its 20-table poker room. Regular games include Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven Card Stud. There are single-table and multi-table tournaments on a regular basis too with buy-ins as low as $60. 

If you love a game of Bingo then Gulfstream Park does offer regular games and promotions. These are often linked to the rewards programme, where you can earn your bingo entries by building up points on your members card.

Naturally there are also plenty of opportunities for sports betting on site, with it being an official racecourse. Often referred to as a racino, the casino and sports betting opportunities do make for a fun-filled afternoon or evening all round.

🛏️ Accommodation at Gulfstream Park Casino

There isn’t any accommodation at Gulfstream Park Casino, but they have partnerships with lots of upscale hotel partners in the area.

Offering special rates, you can check out the list of hotel partners on the website. 

They range from Hampton Inn by Hilton Hallandale Beach, which less than half a mile away, to the spectacular W Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa just over two miles away that includes two championship golf courses and its own waterpark.

🛎️ Services and Facilities at Gulfstream Park Casino

Staff

I actually didn’t encounter that many staff on my visit to Gulfstream Park Casino, but from the short interactions I had, they were friendly enough.

I spoke briefly to someone in the rewards club team and then again to my restaurant servers and both were helpful and courteous.

It seemed to me that when the racetrack is closed the site doesn’t have that many staff around, but that might just be my perception.

Food

There are many food options at Gulfstream Park, both inside and outside of the main casino area. 

Fine dining options include Ten Palms, which is an upscale restaurant within the Clubhouse with a balcony overlooking the racecourse. Reservations are recommended here and there’s a smart dress code and a minimum spend per person.

The other high-end eateries are outside of the main complex but within close walking distance. They include Texas de Brazil, Alma Chef Steakhouse and Grill, and Christine Lee.

Casual dining options include Char#3, Derby Grill, Belly Fish, and Yardhouse, which is where I went for food. Yardhouse is one of my favourite bars in Las Vegas so I wanted to compare, and I wasn’t disappointed.

They run a Happy Hour Monday to Friday 3pm and 6pm with discounted drinks and half price appetizers and pizzas. I had the BBQ chicken pizza and shared some classic sliders and they were delicious. Especially when washed down with an Angry Orchard cider. The can come in a giant glass a yard long, hence the name, if you’re feeling brave enough. 

The Carousel Club is another place to grab food at Gulfstream Park, as it provides two pop-up food offerings Spris Artisan Pizza, and K-Bop Korean Food. You can enjoy both at this unique open-air venue which is situated at the racecourse track side.

If you want more quick bite options, then just next door to Gulfstream Park Casino you’ll find Tito’s Raw Bar which is a seasonal bar serving seafood specials.

There is also a food-court type eating areas called Silks Provisions which includes three options – Cluckers, Misaki and Basil’s, serving a range of Southern, Asian and Italian-American food. This is only open on race days though which is usually Thursday to Sunday.

19.5K Sq. Ft Venue
0 Live Tables
2 Entertainment Space
800 Slot Machines
Open 10am-3am

Entertainment

Of course, the main source of entertainment at Gulfstream Park is horse racing. The property has three courses and thoroughbred racing takes place all year round. 

The course is home to the Florida Derby, which is a prestigious prep-race for the Kentucky Derby and the Pegasus World Cup, which also originated at Gulfstream Park. 

There are also live races Thursday to Sunday each week as part of the Championship Meet, Royal Palm Meet and Flamingo Festival Meet. Race days can depend on the season though, so its best to check out the calendar for details.

To attend a race meeting, tickets start from as little as $3 all the way up to $55 for day packages and more for private suites. 

As for entertainment within the casino, as well as regular promotional days, there are live bands and DJ s playing at the promotion stage in Level Two each weekend. 

Outside of the casino is a small open-air bar called the Breezeway Bar, which doesn’t necessarily have any entertainment but is a perfect location between the racetrack and the Walking Ring so is a hive of activity on race days. 

Carousel Club at Gulfstream Park is a very cool place to visit, whether it’s day or night. The open-air entertainment venue has 14,000 square feet of tented and open-air spaces and is positioned right on trackside.

The main feature is the beautiful Carousel Bar where you can enjoy signature cocktails, but the whole place is pretty chic and offers food, drink, live entertainment, and themed events. 

At the time of writing, events include a nostalgic 90’s event with themed bars, speciality cocktails and, of course, 90’s music. Other events include Belmont Stakes watch party and Rose Sundays with special discounts on bottles of Rose Wine.

There are also weekly events, happy hours, and live music every Saturday evening, and Fuego Fridays with live Latin music and fire performances too.

If shopping is how you get your kicks, then Gulfstream Park has a huge range of fashion boutiques, health and beauty stores, designer home furnishings, speciality shops, and even three art galleries on site.

Envy, Lilly McKay, Atelier Couture, BoConcept, Bang & Olufsen, Nadia Paris Hair Salon, Venetian Nail Salon, and Sher Gallery are just a few of the well-known names you can visit.

Meanwhile, if you prefer a little light-hearted competitive entertainment, then Strike 10 is a bowling and sports lounge. Offering a bar, ten-pin bowling lanes and an arcade, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening with friends.

For the more musical of guests, PlugIN offers 18 upscale, private karaoke rooms of varying sizes, where you can enjoy food and drink while you choose from over 35,000 tracks.

The location of Gulfstream Park means there are also a lot of local attractions really close by. Hollywood Beach is only a couple of miles away offering beautiful sands overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You can also choose from a range of boat trips.

Other nearby attractions include Tidal Cove Waterpark and Aventura Mall, and don’t forget Miami and Fort Lauderdale are both less than 20 miles away. 

At Gulfstream Park the casino is secondary to the racetrack. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of when you visit.

👨‍🦽 Accessibility at Gulfstream Park Casino

Guests who have special access needs are catered for well at Gulfstream Park. 

In terms of the racing, there are specially marked areas designated for wheelchairs in the Walking Ring and Grandstand seating. The casino provides lifts and ramps to enable wheelchair users to easily get around too. 

💰 Bonuses and Promotions at Gulfstream Park Casino

The Gulfstream Park loyalty program is called the Champions Club. By joining the club, you can earn points for every dollar you spend in the casino which can then be used to receive benefits.

Anyone 21 years or over can join the Champions Club, you just need to take along some photographic ID to the casino when you sign up.

Once registered, make sure you insert your membership card whenever you play in the casino. This will enable you to build up points that can be redeemed for slot freeplay, food, beverage and merchandise at Gulfstream Park.

Points also enable you climb the tiers and increase your rewards as follows:

  • Champions Club Show (0 – 5,000 points) – members only promotions, email offers, discounted valet service 
  • Champions Club Place (5,001 – 20,000 points) – as above plus slot reservations, free valet, exclusive offers and $50 birthday freeplay
  • Champions Club Win (20,001 – 50,000 points) – as above plus 3x points multiplier days, no minimum spend in Ten Palms and $100 birthday freeplay
  • Champions Club Triple Crown (50,001+ points) – as above plus VIP parking, complimentary concert tickets, 4x multiplier days and $200 birthday freeplay

Although climbing the membership tiers does give you added benefits, you can still receive perks even on the lowest ‘Show’ tier so it’s always worth joining. 

Members can also take advantage of regular promotions on offer at Gulfstream Park. At the time of writing, some casino promotions include Monday Multipliers, Happy Day Hot Seats on Tuesdays, 8X Pump up the Points on Friday, and Tool Time Play & Earn on Thursdays.

There is also currently a $50K Ballin Out Bingo offer on, where Place, Win, and Triple Crown card holders get free entries every Wednesday. Show card holders have to earn 25 base points to get an entry.

Finally, new Champions Club members can earn up to $500 freeplay when they tier match from another casino rewards programs.

If you’re a regular casino player at another casino, for example, Seminole Casinos or Harrah's Pompano Beach, then it’s worth taking your card along and seeing if you can tier match and get yourself some lovely freeplay at the same time.

See the website for more details of which programs are eligible for tier matching.

🎇 My Experience at Gulfstream Park Casino

Gulfstream Park isn’t really like any other casino I’ve visited. Usually the casino is either the only attraction at a resort or it is the main focal point with other amenities around it. 

At Gulfstream Park the casino is secondary to the racetrack. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of when you visit.

On the day I visited it was quiet but, by all accounts, it can get very busy with race-goers coming in and out in between races or before and after when the racing is on. 

I thought the casino itself was actually fairly nice. Two floors of slots, lots of modern games, and it was clean and pleasant to play in. However, I didn’t feel like it was anything particularly special or that is had any distinguishing features.

It felt to me a bit like an add-on, which I suppose it is. And, of course, there are no live table games which always takes away from the atmosphere.

Saying that, the Gulfstream Park Village has that much to offer in terms of shopping, restaurants and live entertainment that there is plenty going on to make more of a night of it. 

⭐ Standout moment

My stand-out moment was the welcome I received when walking into the casino. The staff were I was taken aback by Gulfstream Park when I arrived. I have been to many racetracks and many casinos in my life, but this one had its own village and community. The sheer scale of it was impressive, as well as its beauty and architecture, including the spectacular Pegasus statue outside.

💭 My Verdict on Gulfstream Park Casino

Gulfstream Park is more of an entertainment destination than a casino. In fact, on the day I went there were more people outside of the casino then there were in it.

The casino is adequate and pleasant for people who love slots, but if you prefer the thrill of interactive tables and live dealers then Gulfstream Park Casino isn’t for you. 

Visiting Gulfstream Park didn’t really have that ‘casino’ experience for me. It felt much more like a day out shopping or dining with some slot play thrown in. But that was probably more to do with the surroundings than anything else.

However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy my day. It was just a different casino experience than I’m used to.

If you’re coming to Gulfstream Park for a day at the races or just to shop, browse the art galleries and enjoy the restaurants, then the fact that there’s a casino on site is a huge bonus that adds to the experience.

But if you’re looking for a casino day specifically, then Gulfstream Park might not be the best fit due to its size and limitations.

🧭 How to Get There

Whether you’re travelling from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Gulfstream Park is really easy to get to by car. It's then made even easier by the free parking on offer. 

Take the I-95 North if you’re coming from Miami and I-95 South if you’re coming from Fort Lauderdale.

From both directions, take Exit 18 for Hallandale Beach Blvd, then travel east until you see a left turn for US-1 N/Federal Hwy and Gulfstream Park will be on your right.

If you’re flying into the region then Gulfstream Park is within driving distance of all major South Florida area airports. 

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) is the closest airport followed by Miami International (MIA), and Palm Beach International (PBI).

If you prefer to travel by train, you can ride the Brightline from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach or Orlando. Exit at the Aventura Station and take Brightline+ to Gulfstream Park.

Bus services also operate in the local area that pass by Gulfstream Park. Both Broward County Transit (BCT) and Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) have regular routes – check out the website for details. 

Finally, rideshare services are widely available in the area so you can book an Uber or Lyft to take you to Gulfstream Park. 

What I Liked and Didn't Like

Liked
Slot variety
Nice surroundings
Smoke-free
Plenty of food options
Other attractions nearby
Champions Club rewards program
Didn't Like
No live table games
No on-site accommodation
Didn’t have that casino feel to it

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Meet The Author

8 Years
Experience
Lynsey Thompson
Lynsey Thompson
Writer Writer

Lynsey is a regular Las Vegas visitor and a keen slots and roulette player. As well as significant experience as a writer in the iGaming and gambling industries as an expert reviewer and journalist, Lynsey is one half of the popular Las Vegas YouTube Channel and Podcast 'Begas Vaby’. When she is not in Las Vegas or wishing she was in Las Vegas, Lynsey can usually be found pursuing her other two main interests of sports and theatre.

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