Recently I had a pre-holiday phone call with Stu Neiman and received some interesting news. The Magic City Jai-Alai court has been stained black. The intent of this is to make the pelota easier to track for H2H Jai-Alai fans, many new to the sport, thus enhancing the H2H viewing experience. Now this is not “painting” as some might think, staining the indoor concrete floor is completely different. The OB line is still red, just like before.
I asked Stu if there were any new additions to states approved for H2H and was pleasantly surprised with the news that Nevada is now approved. Nevada should be huge exposure for Magic City short-court Jai-Alai with the numerous sports books throughout the Nevada casinos and with Vegas/Reno still being popular vacation destinations. This now makes (4) states approved for H2H: Iowa, Illinois, Arizona and now Nevada. More states are expected to follow suit for sports betting approval for the exciting H2H games in 2022.
Also, during this off-season for the players and staff, Magic City management has been relentless in its continued push for expanded customer base for the pari-mutuel games. There is super high interest in the Philippines to carry pari-mutuel wagering and according to Stu the fans are crazy for Jai-Alai there. It will also be interesting to see how much the Magic City Jai-Alai pari-mutuel wagering pools spike with the closure of the Dania fronton as die-hard Jai-Alai fans will certainly want to watch and wager on some of the Dania players at Magic City.
Seven Dania players will be playing in Magic City Jai-Alai pari-mutuel games, H2H games or a combination of both types of games. Those players are as follows (by their player names known to fans): Goixerri, Ladutxe, Jairo, Yeche, Goitia, Aratz and Robin. Goixerri did not play the final fall meet at Dania as he was recovering from injury but did compete in some overseas partidos. Ladutxe has been the best back-court player at Dania in recent years. Jairo had been the highly dominant Dania player in early game singles. Yeche had some outstanding play in the final meet at Dania (both early and late games) and that was perhaps his best meet ever. Goitia played towards the end of the final Dania meet as he was recovering from an injury during the 2nd Annual USNJAC tourney at Magic City. Goitia plays extremely competitively on the Magic City short-court.
I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Magic City meet with the expanded roster which starts on February 14th with pari-mutuel performances on Sunday through Tuesday at 1:30-pm and H2H games which follow at 5-pm EST. It’s been boring and difficult to fill the void with no US Jai-Alai during this downtime, but I understand the need for players and staff to have some well-deserved time off. Also, the World Super Court doubles tournament which debuts in 2022 should be a big hit with a display of some amazing talent, big prize money and no restrictions of “US Citizens only” as there is for the USNJAC singles and doubles annual tournaments.
Thanks to Magic City Casino & Jai-Alai for helping to keep the sport of Jai-Alai alive in the USA and a special thanks to Stu for the updates!
Steve Martin (aka straymar)