Ocala Gainesville Poker and Jai Alai, a long-standing poker and Jai Alai facility that has been a part of Marion County for five decades, is bidding farewell to its loyal patrons to make way for a new era in gaming. The facility, located at 4601 W Hwy 318 in Orange Lake, originally opened its doors back in 1973 and has been a beloved establishment for both locals and visitors.
However, as times change, so too do the businesses that cater to the ever-evolving preferences of their clientele. In an official statement released by the company, it was announced that Ocala Gainesville Poker and Jai Alai will permanently close its doors on Saturday, October 28. The announcement marked the end of an era for this iconic establishment.
The facility made a significant transition in 2008 when it expanded its offerings to include various casino-style games, most notably the popular no-limit Texas hold-em poker. Over the years, it had become a hub for poker enthusiasts and those seeking a thrilling gaming experience.
(Interior view in 2023.)
For those who had amassed poker chips from previous sessions at Ocala Gainesville Poker and Jai Alai, the company issued a reminder that these chips would no longer be valid after the facility’s final day of business. The statement urged patrons to cash in their poker chips by the deadline of October 28, 2023. It was a bittersweet reminder of the end of an era for many patrons who had enjoyed countless games and memorable moments within these walls.
Despite the closure of the iconic establishment, the company is not saying farewell to the gaming industry. Instead, they are redirecting their focus towards a new venture, Ocala Bets, located at 1781 SW 60th Avenue, adjacent to the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company.
In the statement, the company expressed its gratitude to its loyal patrons for their patience throughout this transition, offering a glimmer of hope for the future: “We would like to thank our loyal patrons for your patience in this process. We hope to see you soon at Ocala Bets!”
The opening date for Ocala Bets has yet to be officially announced, but various dealers employed at the new poker room have hinted that the eagerly awaited venture will be ready to welcome patrons in early November. As one chapter closes, another begins, and the gaming community in Marion County eagerly anticipates the next exciting phase in its entertainment offerings.