The poker room at Mardi Gras Casino could reopen within two weeks, but the slots area suffered water damage from Hurricane Irma and will take longer, according to Dan Adkins, the casino’s president.
Irma struck the casino, in Hallandale Beach, late Sunday, Sept. 10, and a mini-tornado lifted the roof of the four-story building, Adkins said.
“Then a lot of water came in and worked its way down,” Adkins said. Water drained throughout the building, including onto the first floor, where the slots are located.
So the cleanup crew unplugged most of the slots and pushed them into a corner, then ripped out the carpet, said Adkins, who gave a brief tour Monday afternoon.
He pointed out that the poker room, at the north end of the building, was mostly OK, but some new materials needed to be ordered to replace a wet ceiling.
“And after Hurricane Harvey and now Irma, everybody is ordering those same materials,” he said. “That’s the holdup, otherwise we could open right now.”
A soundproof barrier will be erected between the poker room and the slot floor, which will be renovated in stages, he said. That floor will be re-carpeted, resealed, repainted and re-drywalled, said Adkins, who can’t set a timetable, but used the word “months.”
“It’s a heck of a way to retrofit,” he said. “But everything will look a lot newer and fresher.”
The pari-mutuel simulcast room on the second floor also was not damaged and will open when the poker room does, Adkins said. Dog racing, required by the state in order for Mardi Gras to offer slots, resumes in December.
The casino’s sit-down restaurant, called The French Quarter, will be the last element to re-open, Adkins said. The French Quarter is on the third floor.
The building opened in 1974 as part of the Hollywood Greyhound Track. Workers ripped up the first floor and installed slots in 2006, after a state referendum and a Broward County vote brought slots to the area and the venue became known as Mardi Gras Casino.