HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – South Florida’s Hialeah Park is betting on its new casino to bring back business to the historic racetrack, once known as “the world’s most beautiful race course.”

The Hialeah Park Casino officially opens to the public in late August, but CBS4 News got an exclusive sneak-peek at the casino renovations on Tuesday.

The state-of-the-art casino, located in the once abandoned grandstand, houses 882 slot machines, more than 23 poker tables, electronic blackjack, electronic roulette, and 3 domino tables along with a variety of lounges, cafes and restaurants.

Slots are on the first floor and the poker room is on the second. The entire casino stretches 30-thousand square feet.

Hialeah Park first opened in 1925. It was purchased by current owner John J. Brunetti in 1977 but the track was closed in 2001.

Brunetti has always said he envisioned carrying on its long and storied history which included visitors such as Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Plans to revive Hialeah Park began to take shape after Miami-Dade voters approved slots in 2008 for the three pari-mutuels in operation at the time.

Brunetti won state legislative approval for slots at Hialeah in 2010.

The casino is the first step in a three-phase renovation plan that eventually may include a hotel, shops and offices.

Hialeah also has a transportation option no other casino can offer. The Hialeah Metrorail station is near the edge of the property.

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