Make baseball picks at Calder

Many casinos offer contests for weekly football predictions, but at Calder Casino sports fans have something going the entire year.

Which means it’s currently baseball season at the Miami Gardens casino. Visitors have from 9 a.m. Sunday through 5 p.m. Thursday to select winners of a slate of games. The casino divides $1,000 free slot play and other prizes to the best 20 of the week. There’s also prizes for the best cumulative scores: The top 100 get a piece of $5,000 in free play.

Director of Marketing Matt Harper notes that Calder goes directly from a similar football contest to basketball, then to baseball. The 5 p.m. Thursday deadline is so Calder can include the Thursday night Miami Marlins’ game, if possible. Patrons also choose selected Friday and Saturday games.

Slot players who earn 25 points in a day can hedge their original predictions, by making a second round of picks.

As you know, sports betting is illegal in Florida, and almost every other state. But having contests, where the patrons are not plunking down any money, are legal.

A few updates on Calder: The horse racing product there continues to be “Gulfstream West,” the result of a tug-of-war between Gulfstream and Calder. The old grandstand is now almost all down, and it doesn’t look like poker will be back anytime soon, because, the way I understand it, Calder would have to run 80 racing dates and Gulfstream yields only 40. (And poker does about one-10th the business of slots, so while it would be great there, it’s just one of those things.)