There are four sensational casinos in Tampa Bay which comprise the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg. Yes, they’re the Cities of Champions. If you’ve been following the sports scene with the NHL’s Lightning earning back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl, and the Rays winning the AL Pennant, you’ll understand why.
However, you will also find so much more to fall in love with besides Tampa Bay’s sports scene. Sure, they got beaches and a plethora of attractions everywhere you look. But they also have gaming destinations if you know where to look, which is what today’s post will cover.
The following casinos are listed in no particular order, so even if they’re ranked one through four, it is not an actual ranking system, but listed randomly.
Are you ready to learn more about these four must-visit casinos in Tampa Bay? Let’s get right into it.
Gaming Venue 1: Derby Lane
Derby Lane graces the top of today’s list. A former greyhound racetrack, the passage of Amendment 13 in the state has since banned live greyhound racing. However, you can still catch simulcasts of races from across the nation.
And like a few venues in Florida that double as racinos to catch simulcasts, you will find no electronic gaming devices here. So if you’re into slot machines, you must go to one of the other gaming venues in Tampa Bay listed in today’s post.
However, they have numerous poker tournaments here that include freerolls, and 12K Mondays that feature $175 buy-ins and 20-minute blinds. You will also find a complete list of buy-ins and games on Derby Lane’s Poker Games and Limits Page.
And as you will make out from the above link, they offer a plethora of different table games like DJ Wild Stud, High-Card Flush, Ultimate Texas Hold‘em, Fortune Pai Gow, Three-Card Poker, One Card Low and High Limit, No-Limit Hold‘em, Limit Hold‘em, Limit Stud, and Pot-Limit Omaha.
As for dining, head over to the Fast Dog Saloon where you will find a full bar along with betting windows. Doors open at 11:30 and these days, they even feature a track menu that serves breakfast, specialty sandwiches, and even international fare. The menu is available for both dine-in and takeout.
So, the pros at Derby Lane are that if you’re a card shark, odds are, you’ll have a lot of fun here. But if you’re looking for slot machines, you will need to venture out of 10490 Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg and venture into nearby Tampa, where you will find all three of the following venues.
Gaming Venue 2: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa is located at 5223 Orient Road in Tampa, Florida, and unlike many casinos in Florida, you’re getting a fully-fledged resort here complete with top-of-the-line amenities. If you’re looking for a spot to spend most of your time, Hard Rock is a good place to do so.
They have 245,000 square feet of real estate on their gaming floor, so you can only imagine what kind of slot machines they offer here. Check out the latest and greatest games amidst both a smoke-friendly and smoke-free atmosphere.
They also have many live table games here. Many casinos in Florida offer electronic tables in blackjack, but you’re getting the real deal here. Other games include baccarat, pai gow, Let It Ride, and Casino War.
But if you’re looking for some live poker action, you will also find it at Hard Rock. Head over to the smoke-free poker room that comprises 46 tables and Wi-Fi throughout the area. Besides offering just Poker, they also have a sports bar to go with 42 high-definition televisions.
They offer popular games in the room like Texas Hold ‘em, Seven-Card Stud, and Omaha Hi-Lo featuring a variety of stakes. And as with the slot machines, you will also find a variety of promotions right here in the poker room, so make sure you got that Seminole Wild Card so you can take advantage.
If you’re looking for a place to dine, Hard Rock has 15 available options that range from fine dining to casual dining, room service options, and quick bites. Besides the dining options, you’re also getting eight bars and lounges here when you’re ready to unwind after a long day of casino gaming.
Along with stellar entertainment and accommodation options, you have so much to do at this venue that you won’t even need to venture far into Tampa when you’re looking to keep yourself occupied in something beyond just casino gaming.
Just a few amenities at the casino include a spa and salon, a resort pool with private cabanas, and nearby shopping destinations. Once you’ve exhausted it at the slots and tables, take some time to tour the resort and perhaps even spend some of those winnings at the retail outlets.
Gaming Venue 3: Tampa Bay Downs
Tampa Bay Downs is the place to be when you’re looking for both live horse racing and simulcasting. Per their website, seasons last from November until June, and they offer 90 days of live racing right here at 11255 Race Track Road in Tampa.
Like Derby Lane, you will find no slot machines here, and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has you covered with all the electronic games. However, if you prefer table games, you’re in luck.
You’ll find both cash and private games throughout a variety of stakes in No-Limit Hold ‘em and Limit Omaha Hi-Lo. They also host a variety of poker tournaments and per their site, select players who receive the highest payouts are sent to Vegas to take part in the World Series of Poker, all buy-ins paid.
And as mentioned, you will find no slots here, but you will come across a solid golf practice facility that includes a driving range, putting and chipping areas, plus a Pro Shop that features all the latest brand names. They also offer golf instruction, so feel free to sign up if you’re looking to improve your game.
And finally, Tampa Bay Downs has a few solid dining options where you can sit trackside and watch the races in the Skye Terrace Dining Room, or check out the simulcasts over at the Sports Gallery along with other events straight from your own private television set.
And if you’re spending an extended period of time in the poker room, make sure you check out The Silks Bar and Grille. No, you don’t even need to leave your table for too long if you need to refuel with one of their wraps, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast items, and more.
And finally, enjoy craft beers and cocktails at both Legends Bar and Riders Up if you need a fine way to unwind once you’ve finished gaming it up at Tampa Bay Downs.
Gaming Venue 4: TGT Poker and Racebook
TGT Poker and Racebook comprises the final gaming outlet on today’s list. Like many former greyhound tracks in Florida, you won’t find racing here, but they do offer simulcast wagering. Whenever you’re looking for a spot to wager on your favorite races from across the nation while on vacation in Tampa, this is the place to be.
No, you won’t find any gaming machines at this location, but they offer quite a few remarkable table gaming options. If you’re into poker, this place is a draw. They offer 19 tables worth of gaming from Five Card Stud to Seven-Card Stud, 7-27 Poker, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Texas Hold ‘em.
They run daily tournaments and cash games comprising both single-table tournaments and multi-table gaming options. Besides no-limit gaming, you will also find pot limits regarding Texas Hold ‘em, so keep that in mind if you’re not quite ready to go all out.
The only real downside to this smaller poker room is that they will see some extended waiting periods. If it’s an hour or so before something opens, you can always check out Tampa Bay Downs or Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
They also have one dining option on the property called The Clubhouse, which serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, mainly comprising American fare. Whenever you need to grab a bite before you spend a few hours in the poker room, you need not go far.
If all of the above sounds good to you, you will find the gaming venue at 8300 Nebraska Avenue in Tampa, Florida.
You won’t find much in the way of the slot machines in Tampa unless you go to Hard Rock. But with over 245,000 square feet of gaming space, you’re bound to find more than your fair share there.
However, if you’re into horse or greyhound racing, live and simulcasting for the former and strictly simulcasting for the latter, along with an array of poker games, you’re in luck. Make sure you carve some time to play and wager during your trip to Tampa or St. Pete—especially if you follow racing at your home track, odds are, they’re simulcasting the event.