The comparisons are completed and the results look promising! Here are the details showing the rise in the average betting pools per game for the popular Trifecta and Superfecta wagers for the Dania Invitational Jai-Alai Tournament for 2022-23. Both Trifecta and Superfecta wagers are up over the recent past by significant amounts, 18% and 10%. Be sure to keep reading below to help this trend continue!
Tri & Super Avg Betting Pools thru Dec 24, 2022
Be sure to get to the Dania Fronton for tonight’s performance or visit that participating simulcast facility.
Should you desire to wager from the comfort of your home via online platforms the options are watchandwager.com or mywinners.com. Should you reside in Connecticut, your only at-home option is through mywinners.com. If you want to open an account with watchandwager.com and unsure if your state allows Jai-Alai wagering, call Watch and Wager Customer Service at 1-800-204-9150 and speak with one of their awesome customer service reps (Note: the approvals do change periodically). If your state has not approved Jai-Alai wagering then all is not lost & here’s another option; partner-up with a friend or family member in that “Jai-Friendly” state so they can make the wagers and you can support this amazing and fascinating sport of Jai-Alai, the world’s fastest and most dangerous game!
Note: WatchandWager.com currently has a new account $250 BONUS!!! Who doesn’t want FREE money!!!
Holiday week at the Casino Dania Beach Jai-Alai fronton features five pari-mutuel performances in five days starting with a 7 pm performance on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Qualifying points for the 2022-23 Dania Invitational can be earned through the 1 pm performance on New Year’s Eve. Players have been accumulating five, three or one points for their win, place, show finishes since action started on Thursday, December 1. Fans should note no jai-alai Saturday night (New Year’s Eve). Games will be played during a New Year’s Day matinee at 1 pm.
In all 12 front courters and 10 back courters are vying for a spot on one of the eight doubles teams that will play in the partido matchups. Find updated stats here on sayhili.com. Manci has the back court nearly locked up with a 41-point lead over Atain II. Bixente holds a 185-181 over Zulaika but Zulaika has two games in hand. The standings show steep competition for the final spots in both the front and back court.
Here are a lot of unique stats compiled by Jabracadabra and Straymar based on the first 2 1/2 weeks of action of the tournament being held at Dania Jai-alai.
These stats should help you make bets with more accuracy on the mostly new and young roster.
Be sure to check out their website - Say HiLi for more details.
Amendment 4, slot machines legal in the tracks and frontons in Dade and Broward counties, had narrowly passed the statewide vote. Now, only one more hurdle left. The county commissions had to vote. Of course, the politicians smelled money and plenty of backroom negotiations were going on. Finally, an agreement of an additional percentage of the slot revenues would go to Dade and Broward for “traffic control and extra security.”
As we waited for their final vote of approval, I was doing my normal Tuesday evening managing of a near empty fronton at Dania Jai-Alai. As I “walked the floor” around 6:30 p.m., I couldn’t help feeling ambivalent about what was coming. Would our old formal downstairs lobby now be filled with slot machines instead of the thousands of Jai-Alai fans placing their bets from our Golden Years of the 1970s? Then, I heard security page me.
“There is someone on the phone that asked to speak to the manager and wouldn’t tell me his name,” the security guard on duty told me. I picked up the phone and a low, steady voice asked me if we were open tonight. Annoyed, knowing that I was sure he could have gotten that information from our security guard, I told him our first game started at 7 p.m. He, then, said something highly suspicious and I thought it was probably a joke.
“We would like to bring over a special guest, however, I cannot reveal who it is until we get there,” the mysterious voice told me. This was a very slow Tuesday evening. Who would be coming to Dania Jai-Alai, unable to reveal himself or herself, until arriving. This had to be a crank call. “We should be there in about 30 minutes… can you meet us in valet parking?”
As I waited downstairs, a half an hour went by, our valet parking area was nearly deserted. There was no unusual activity. I was about to go back to my office upstairs when suddenly a string of black limos turned from Dania Beach Blvd. into our valet area. The first car stopped, and a man jumped out with what appeared to be an ear bud in his right ear. He introduced himself as an agent for some security detail and wanted me to take him in the fronton to look around. I showed him the lobby areas and main seating area. He spoke into a microphone in his sleeve, and we returned to the valet area. Finally, the agent opened the limo door. A middle-aged lady stepped out, totally unrecognizable to me, stuck out her hand, and said in a British accent, “Mr. Fleischman, I’m Cherie Blair, thank you for having me.”
Cherie Blair, Blair, British accent… yes, Prime Minister of England Tony Blair’s wife! What the heck were they doing at Dania Jai-Alai? Then, some children got out of the car and accompanied us into the fronton. Some of her security followed us into the seating area.
When I joined Dania Jai-Alai, I learned that there was a small area in the middle of the fronton with extra plush, theater- type seats called “The Royal Box.” I am sure some celebrities in the past were seated there. But this may be the only time there would actually be near royalty in the Royal Box.
Cherie (she immediately told me to call her that) apparently had an old friend that lived in Palm Beach, and they wanted to meet somewhere. She told me that he suggested Dania Jai-Alai and he should arrive shortly. He did, and he joined the family in the Royal Box. She was intrigued by the game, as were her children. Her oldest son, Nicky, was especially excited by the sport. So, I took Nicky into the player’s quarters and let him watch a game from the bench, sitting next to the players. The view from behind is spectacular, and he got to even meet some of the players.
After taking some pictures of son Nicky and our Jai-Alai players, we returned to the Royal Box. Cherie Blair could not have been nicer. She thanked me for showing her son a behind-the-scenes look at Dania Jai-Alai and assured me this was the highlight of their trip.
After watching about six games, they had to depart. I told Cherie Blair that I would get the pictures printed and mail them to her. Then, I asked the dumbest question, “Where do I send the pictures, Cherie?” She smiled and kindly answered, “10 Downing Street, please.”
I now realized that’s like asking our President, “Where do I send the pictures?” The WHITE HOUSE, of course. But, that quiet Tuesday night, a night the Prime Minister’s wife suddenly appeared at Dania Jai-Alai, will still be one of the most memorable nights of my career.
Dade and Broward both gave their approval to Amendment 4. These questions dominated our thoughts: When do we get the slots? Would Steve Snyder sell to a Vegas company? Would this save the Jai-Alai industry? Would we still have jobs?
The next step, the Governor and the Legislature had to set the tax rate for the slot revenue. This would determine Dania Jai-Alai’s future. This would determine my future. What they did shocked us all.
Week 2 of the Dania 2022/2023 Dec-Jan Meet/Invitational Tourney ended on Sunday, Dec.11 and here is a summary of some data from the popular trifecta and superfecta pari-mutuel wagering options for the first 99-games at Dania.
Average $1.00 Trifecta Payoff: $218.80
Average Trifecta Pool (before takeout): $2947
Average $0.10 Superfecta Payoff: $109.55
Average Superfecta Pool (before takeout): $1371
For comparison purposes, here are Magic City averages on above for all of 2022 (904-games). Note that Magic City does not have a superfecta on their Pelota (aka pari-mutuel) wagering menu.
Average $1.00 Trifecta Payoff: $228.40
Average Trifecta Pool (before takeout): $1992
Now, some good news on the Dania front for fans of the sport, the wagering appears to be on the rise as evidenced by some nice betting pools from the weekend of the 2nd week. Also shown are largest payoffs for both trifecta and superfecta for the meet-to-date.
Largest Trifecta Pools: $4048 and $4222, both on Fri Eve 12/9 games 4,5
Largest Superfecta Pool: $1963 on Fri Eve 12/9 game 7
Largest $1.00 Trifecta Payoff: $1067.20 for a 2-8-7 on Sat Eve 12/10 game 8
Largest $0.10 Superfecta Payoff: $455.25 for 2-6-8-7 on Fri Eve 12/9 game 4
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED IF WE WANT TO SEE MORE JAI-ALAI in the USA!! If you can’t go to the games and watch them live AND wager on these games or visit the OTB or other venue that has Jai-Alai on their simulcast menu, be sure to open up that account with watchandwager.com or mywinners.com. IF you can’t bet on Jai-Alai in your state, then TEAM-UP with a friend or family member who resides in a “Jai-Friendly” state to get a wagering account opened-up to do your part to “Help Keep the Jai-Alive” in the USA.
Also, and most importantly, PLEASE be sure to support BOTH Magic City short-court products and the Dania long-court product. Magic City has two short-court products (there is Pelota “aka pari-mutuel” and the Battle Court sports betting matches through BetRivers.com) and Dania offers the long-court pari-mutuel product, but who knows, if Dania gets enough support from wagering fans, sports betting matches could become a reality in the future? This is no time to be picky and choosy on which version of Jai-Alai to support in the USA! Picky and choosy is only for moms who want Jiff for their kids, lol. This is a time to be thankful for the TWO Jai-Alai Frontons in the USA and to act quickly if we want to keep the World’s Fastest and Most Fascinating Sport around for years to come!!
The National Jai-alai Association welcomes back the Magic City roster for its 3rd annual event January 13-14th of next month. The dates are on a Friday and Saturday this time, with the scheduling dates approved by Magic City management.
Friday will likely be a practice day with open play for all players- Magic City’s roster and the public.
Saturday would be a structured event, most likely a bunch of games featuring players mixed up and some with players from each cancha competing against each other. There will be no trophies, fees or any organized “tournaments” as play is strictly for fun. Magic City players are on a year-round employment contract, and their safely and well-being is our most concern. Free programs will be handed out to all as a sponsorship of The Pelota Press, Clearwater Enviro Tech, and Magic Mike Computer Services.
On Friday night, January 13th, the JLaca Museum will be open again to all jai-alai players and fans at 6pm. There will be plenty of alcohol, wine, soda, domestic beer, and food available. RSVP is required to obtain a head count. If you would like to bring an appetizer or dessert, please do so. If you don’t like “old fart” beer like Bud or Bud Light, you might want to bring your own. The players have always enjoyed their visit to the museum. The Home Theatre, with its 150” screen and surround sound will be open later for Live Dania Jai-alai betting with Watch and Wager.
The past two Magic City events, both held in the “off season” winter , have been a big hit. Record breaking player turnouts with decent crowds attending.
The public is welcome to attend either day, but we recommend Saturday – January 14th when everyone is out there. The starting time is to be determined. One side note is the NFL Playoffs start that day at 4:30pm and continue all weekend. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold on to win the division (yes, they do have Tom Brady on the team that is in first place with under a .500 record), they would likely host the Dallas Cowboys. That site would be just across the bridge in Tampa – on a date and time to be determined. However, any game with the Cowboys vs. Tom Brady would likely be in prime time.
Former Florida Gaming Corporation CEO William Bennett “Benny” Collett, Jr. passed away on the morning of November 22, 2022, in Indiana. He was 67. The cause of death is unknown, but he did suffer from diabetes, like many of us.
For nearly two decades, he oversaw operations of the largest frontons in Florida. Unfortunately, it was not the best of times for the sport and business of jai alai. The strike, followed by the lottery and other gambling options all but crippled the game. Property selloffs were inevitable.
In one of the saddest days I can remember, Tampa Jai-alai sold its vast 40-acre site to Monroe’s Prestige Group for $8.3 million in 1998, shutting down the legendary fronton July 4th of that year. Shortly afterwards, a Home Depot and Sam’s Club were built on the site. It was only the beginning of the end of what was once a very profitable company.
Mr. Collett was featured in a few of Marty Fleischman’s stories this past summer in the Pelota Press, which can be viewed in the Archives section under “News”.
Benny is survived by his wife Rose, his children Katie and Kyle, his granddaughters Lila and Lennox , and his Uncle Gene and Aunt Bennie.
With Dania Beach Jai Alai starting up for 2 months on Thursday, December 1, 2022, I am beginning to track data for the Daily Double, Pick 3 and Superfecta games. With limited data so far in the first 10 sessions, I still wanted to get some data out sooner rather than later. Check back next week for more data and insights as the data set expands.
NEW: Check the new SayHiLi webpage devoted to the latest updates for this info below
Dania Jai-alai reopened its doors to the public last Thursday night to an enthusiastic crowd of about 250 people. Yes, goat-skin Jai-alai is back! After November of 2021, it appeared the end was here. On the closing night festivities, Benny said, “Never say never” and it turned out to be true with an April 2022 weekend tournament held and now a full two-month season under way.
Things got off to a slow start with the tape of the national anthem not playing right away. We were hoping ESPN’s Dave LaMont, who was announcing that opening night, would have grabbed the microphone, and started singing. Hey, he’s got a great voice anyway. The tape finally played several minutes later and then the players were all introduced to the rousing crowd. The nine-game schedule then took off without incident.
As previously said, about 250 people attended the fronton on its opening night. I was fortunate enough to get to sit next to one of the all-time greats – Chimela – for several games on opening night, just like I did for what was to be the final closing night in November 2021. I still envision watching him on the grand opening night in Bridgeport 45 years ago climbing the wall several feet to snag bullets with the roar of thousands in amazement. Other former great players in the crowd included Felix and Tevin (who wasn’t wearing a suit for the first time!). Magic City star Douglas was there – just hours before getting married the following day. Ownership and management were very happy with the turnout and have been pleased with the handles. It’s getting bodies into the casino with a little bit more atmosphere going on other than the sound of slots machines dinging away.
The Friday and Saturday crowds were not that crowded, perhaps around 100 in the crowd during the night. However the handles were better and that’s all the really counts, but Watch and Wager only pays them 4% vs. the full 25% they get inhouse. Expect the crowds to pick up over the last couple of weeks in December and in January with the holidays behind us and more tourists in town.
New player analysis
The new players, all from the French and Spain part of the Basque region – and barely old enough to shave! – played very well. The general censuses from the crowd were positive. Considering it was their first time to America with less than a week to practice and no pro experience at all, they played well. Also, getting used to the Spec 7 or 9 format must be difficult to adjust to. Benny did a great job finding these guys. Meanwhile, virtually all the returning players struggled somewhat, likely the result of over a year layoff of little or no jai-alai action. Bailo and Arta were especially rusty out there on their first few performances.
As time goes on, we can expect the retuning players to get back into playing shape and the youngsters to continue to improve. However, the season or tournament we shall say, ends January 28th.
It’s going to take a little more time to fully get a grip on all the players and be able to handicap the games. Who will be the next Erik? We shall see.
There were two main complaints we heard. One was on the new uniforms. Though “sharp” looking, they are hard to distinguish from one another. From watching in person through the thick screen, watching on the overhead screen above the court, or on your phone, it was not easy to tell who was out on the court. Busy talking to people like Chimela, N. Miami George, George Quinn, Jesus, Becky, and Steve “The Hook” during play, I was trying to make notes of who dropped a duck, made a great play, or overserved, and was noting the wrong player or team nearly every time. I had to look at the scoreboard above the court to see the last team in the rotation to know who lost that point.
The post 2 ”blue” uniforms can look as though they are post 5 “black”. Or look like post 4, 7 or 8. Post 3 “white”, while “cool” looking, appeared like someone threw a referee’s uniform into the washer with too much bleach and used it as post 3. Post 6 was not gold or yellow. Post 4 does not appear to be green in color.
Kidding aside, we will have to get used to it, I guess. The uniforms should be simple, and clearly identifiable as to what post it is. There is way too much black around the collars and arms to throw it off on top of it.
The other complaint was the scoreboard being unable to see how many points the two teams on the court had. The white was blended in with the white lettering on Dania Jai-alai on the wall. I noted it was corrected by Sunday’s matinee by simply having the camera move it toward the floor for a solid gray background.
But the best news is that the video production was updated with a new system in place and a better overall picture.
What’s in the Future?
It appears that talks are underway for another two-month season in 2023. While we hoping for a longer season, we will find out soon.
As I stood on the steps, outside the anti-Amendment 4 rally in Ft. Lauderdale in 2005, I made a decision. I decided to enter the hall, pretending to be just another anti-slots advocate. The place was packed. There was a podium, center stage. Reporters, photographers, and other media people were bunched in front, awaiting the “stars” of the show. And, a show it was.
Entrance music began to play as local and state politicians entered the stage. Then, Alan Bense, Florida’s Republican Speaker of the House leaped onto the stage as the crowd roared. I thought I was at a rock concert.
Bense gave a short speech and introduced the headline act for this anti-slots, anti-gambling gathering. The music blared as the Speaker of the House welcomed Governor Jeb Bush. He embraced Bush and turned the microphone over to him as the crowd roared its approval. What I heard stunned me.
Governor Bush began by saying how he loved Florida and there was no place for gambling in his state. I guess he failed to realize gambling on the pari-mutuels (horses, dogs, and Jai-Alai) in Florida had been legal since the 1920s. The pari-mutuel business ranked 3rd in the state, only surpassed by tourism and oranges. Plus, we generated millions in tax dollars.
“The pari-mutuels are just a bunch of crooks and I’m going to do everything I can to put them out of business,” Bush shouted to the crowd. I couldn’t believe it. There had been fewer scandals in our highly regulated industry than almost any business in Florida. How about scandals involving politicians! Our governor was calling me a crook and wanted to take away my livelihood, my passion for over 30 years. I was not only deeply offended… I was pissed!
The rally continued for a while longer until the politicians felt they had rallied their base enough to go out and vote against Amendment 4. I was disgusted and depressed. It’s one thing to say you are morally opposed to gambling and feel it is not good for Florida. It’s another to call me, my bosses, my fellow employees, the professional Jai-Alai players, crooks.
I went back to Dania Jai-Alai and reported my “undercover” work to Steve Snyder and John Knox. Neither were surprised by the political rhetoric. We just had more work to do to get our story out. This amendment gives much needed funds to education. We kept our focus on that.
It was finally election day. I, and some others, went to the Dania Beach polling location at the school down the street from the fronton. I held a sign that said “Vote for Education, Vote Yes on Amendment 4.” Then, it began to rain. We stayed through the heat and the rain, hoping to explain and answer questions to voters as they approached. I went home exhausted, but hopeful.
As I watched the statewide returns come in that night, it was almost 50-50. Then, the no-votes took the lead as many of the central and northern counties weighed in. I looked at Sue and said, “It looks like we are going to lose. We better get ready to put the house up for sale.”
Our big hope was the massive Broward county vote that was projected to be positive for the amendment. Steve Snyder, our owner, was at the Broward Elections Center watching the tally. As usual, the vote tabulation was slow. Finally, getting close to midnight, I went to bed thinking that we had lost approximately 50.3% to 49.7%. So close, yet we had lost.
But, Snyder noticed something strange happening with the vote tally as the Broward counts came in. The total count for the Amendment began to be reduced as late votes were counted. After alerting some officials, they found a glitch. The programmers had placed a vote limit in the software. The tabulations began exceeding the limit and “yes” votes were being subtracted instead of added.
Broward’s 67% landslide in favor brought the final vote to 50.7% in favor and 49.3% opposed. I found out the next morning when turning on the news that WE HAD ACTUALLY WON!
Amendment 4 would now be part of the Florida Constitution. Over 7 million Floridians had cast votes. The people had spoken. The political opponents would have to acquiesce to the will of the voters. How naïve could I be?