The location: The Casino.


Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The Oceanfront Casino.


Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Somewhere in Miami.


Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. Twice in Episode 8 (of Season 3): "The Damage a Man Can Do".

    Dexter has decided to let his new "friend", Miguel Prado, participate in his next kill. The victim is to be one Billy Fleeter, a brutal gambling enforcer who kills people for a bookie.

    So Dexter & Prado go to the casino where Fleeter hangs out, to research their subject.

    On their first visit, Dexter tells Prado they are just there to watch and learn his routine. Fleeter is playing blackjack, while they pretend to play the slot machines.

    Dexter accidentally mentions "the code", and Prado asks him to explain. Dexter offers a partial explanation, that it is a set of rules designed to avoid being caught, based on common sense & police experience.  Dexter has a 'vision' of Harry, warning him not to share his secrets.

    On their second visit, they want to meet Fleeter himself.  They find him drinking at the bar and watching a basketball game on a TV monitor. Prado shows up dressed, as Dexter puts it, "like the Unibomber". Sitting next to Fleeter at the bar, they exchange a few words, then, when his team loses, Fleeter leaves in a bad temper, insinuating that he is going to go hurt someone.

    They begin to follow Fleeter, planning to kill him, but on their way out, Prado is recognized by a stranger in the casino.

    This results in Dexter calling off the planned killing, since Prado has been seen in the same place with the proposed victim.

    Later, during a meeting on a pier, Prado displays anger when Dexter tells him that the kill is off.


Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A card club - and a long way from Miami.


Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot at the Hollywood Park Casino, at 3883 W. Century Blvd, in Inglewood, CA.

    The race track and casino are actually located on the east side of Prairie Avenue, between Century (on the south) and Manchester (on the north). But there is also an entrance (to the parking lot) on Century.

    The building began life in 1984 as the south wing of the Hollywood Park race track ("the Cary Grant Pavilion"), but was converted in the early '90s into a casino offering poker and other cards games.

    As of 2009, the casino is still located at the south end of the Hollywood Park racetrack. However, it appears that the racetrack may soon be torn down to make way for a major shopping/residential project in Inglewood. Ironically, the casino itself will apparently survive the development, although the historic race track will disappear.

    Although Dexter is shown playing slot machines, as far as I know, there are no Vegas-style slots at the Hollywood Park Casino.  They made a major effort to acquire slots, but California law allows them only an Indian-owned casinos. The inability to install slot machines was one of the reasons cited for the impending demise of the race track.

    Warning: While Hollywood Park itself is a safe place to visit, some of the streets leading to the track (especially those to the east) pass through neighborhoods which have experienced problems with gangs & crime. Exercise reasonable caution.


    ( Billy Fleeter's house (where Dexter & Miguel kill him) is located miles to the south, in San Pedro.)


    Here is an aerial photo of the casino. And here is a map link.


Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. When I first saw the scene, I assumed they had probably shot it at one of the casinos in Gardena, or perhaps one of the more distant Indian casinos. I've been to Hollywood Park on several occasions, but always for live horse racing events, never to the casino.  So when I think Hollywood Park, I think horses, not cards.

    But then I spotted a sign in the bar scene that appeared to read "The Finish Line". So I Googled for that phrase along with "lounge", and one of the items that popped up was a mention of the Hollywood Park casino.  I then went to the casino's website, and in a section devoted to movie shoots, I found photos of both "The Finish Line" lounge and the card rooms at the casino, which perfectly matched the screencaps, right down to the unusual carpeting and the lighting fixtures.

    You can find an interesting panorama of the Finish Line lounge here, and a similar panorama of the casino floor here.




 
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The Dexter screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements are trademarks of and © Showtime.
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