Dania Casino & Jai Alai and Magic City Casino strike a deal

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Owners of the Dania Casino & Jai Alai announced Friday a $12.5 million deal with West Flagler Associates, which owns the Magic City Casino in Miami and has a limited partnership in the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track.

The deal between the Ondiss Corp and WFA is expected to close on or before December 10.

Dania Entertainment Center holds the casino and Jal Alai pari-mutuel licenses. Ondiss owns 77 percent of DEC and will acquire the remaining 23 percent later this month. It will then sell 25 percent interest in DEC to WFA.

Friday, the attorney for Ondiss asked the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to grant conditional approval to the WFA deal since both parties are current permit holders.

The Ondiss Corp began acquiring control of the Dania casino and fronton by purchasing a majority interest in DEC in 2013. The corporation was formed by a group of Argentine investors and owns nearly 30 casinos in Argentina. The four principals listed on state documents are Guillermo M. Ardissone, Ricardo O. Benedictor, Hector J Cruz and De Achaval Federico, all of Buenos Aires.

Two months ago the Dania Casino & Jai Alai announced it would close for a year starting this month for a $50 million renovation. The Miami Herald reported in August the facility had the worst revenue performance in the South Florida gaming market.

The Dania Beach facility competes with seven other casinos offering slot machines and attached to either horse or dog tracks and jai-alai frontons in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The Argentine investors led by Cristobal Lopez, known as the Argentine Casino Czar, made an initial investment of $65.5 million in the Dania Jai-Alai 2013. Later this month it will buy out Lakes Development’s five percent interest in the facility for $2.5 million and then will sell 25 percent interest in the facility to WFA for $12.5 million.

Ondiss installed 543 slot machines in the facility and began implementing a renovation plan in phases.