Jai alai is one of the most endangered sports in America. For the past 69 years, the sport has been hosted at Casino@ Dania in Miami, but it won’t make it to 70.
The final jai alai game at Casino @ Dania will be hurled on 28th November after which the sports will permanently cease at the site.
An article published by The Sun-Sentinel, states that Dania Entertainment’s owner is negotiating a buyout for the remaining months for its 26 professional players whose contract ends in May 2022.
Jai alai sports is only known in the US, Latin America, and the Philippines. The dangerous sport which involves high-speed acrobatic catches and throws has its origin in Spain.
In the 1970s, Jai alai was a popular sport in Florida and part of northeast states that include; Connecticut and Rhode Island. At Dania Beach, it used to attract more than 7, 000 fans.
The Sport has, however, dwindled significantly as more varied gambling opportunities become available. Florida has kept the sport alive at pari-mutuel venues required by law to offer a quota of either live horse racing, dog racing, or a jai alai.
However, such events are expensive to stage due to the fallout of fashion. Most of the time, jai alai sport runs on subsidies.
Could Jai alai be on its way to becoming extinct in Florida? Last year, greyhound racing phased out in Florida after residents voted for a referendum banning the sport.
Though Dania Beach is ending professional jai alai, the other three-venue in Florida will still offer the sport. They include Magic City Casino, Calder Casino in Miami Gardens, and Casino Miami.