Another good article

Dominique - we must have posted threads at the same time :p I just posted a thread about the Newsweek article (otherwise probably would have posted under your thread)... but I am glad to see that there is MUCH negative opinion about this recent decision... let's hope this will be a thing of the past like the Prohibition, very soon...
Ouch, the simultaneous posting syndrome again. :eek2:

Yes, the fact that this is slowly trickling out into the mainstreet media, and takes the "prohibition" stance, is very encouraging.
It's certainly good to see more thoughtful coverage in the main publications - there were at least three different and really interesting pieces today (all of which have been multiposted throughout the various threads running on this general topic) and it has been encouraging to see a departure from the usual "online gambling is bad" simplistic views taken by too many newspapers.

This (article, that is..) is good...And its happening at a time when Republicans are getting nervous...Yes, Republicans, BE VERY AFRAID !!!!
Go Figure! Interesting Article!

YONKERS, Oct. 15 The racetrack east of the New York State Thruway lay empty, save for a few workmen perched on the grandstand, maneuvering a red crane. Storage cabinets crowded the paddock, which had a hole in the roof, exposing the blue sky above. The electronic board that displays the odds before each race was nowhere in sight.

Librado Romero/The New York Times
Marilyn Keppler played the raceways slot machines while the racing track is still closed.
Meanwhile, the building that abuts the racetrack teemed for the fifth straight day with a sizeable, steady flow of visitors, who moved about the carpeted floor as if hypnotized by the whistles, bells and chimes of more than 1,800 slot machines.

I just hope I dont spend the rent money, Margaret-Ann Smith, 79, said as she poised to hit the Play button on one of the machines. Id feel better if Id seen anyone win big, but I guess thats the risk of gambling, right?
The Yonkers Raceway reopened for business on Wednesday with a stylish video-lottery casino, but to the distress of horse owners without a working track.

Its disgraceful, said Joseph A. Faraldo, the president of the Standardbred Owners Association, which represents the owners of trotters and pacers that competed here, before dwindling crowds, until the track closed for renovations 16 months ago.

Horse owners, jockeys and other track workers are entitled to part of the money drawn from bets, so closing the track here left them without a steady income, Mr. Faraldo said. Further, he said, its a tremendous economic burden to have to pick up your office, pick up all your equipment and move on a daily basis to other facilities to race.

The association filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court on Friday, arguing that the raceways opening violates a 2001 law that authorized eight racing tracks to have video-lottery machines, provided that the racing and the gambling happened at the same time.

The raceways general counsel, Timothy Rooney Jr., said he could not comment on the complaint because he had not seen it. He added, however, that the races would resume within a few weeks, or as soon as workers finish repairs, which have already lasted twice as long as planned.

We had to do a lot more work than we expected, Mr. Rooney said. All the parking lots had to be repaved, all the storm drains had to be replaced. Pretty much every corner of the racetrack was affected by the construction, but were proud of what weve accomplished.

Mr. Faraldo said he was skeptical that the repairs would be completed within weeks, enabling the track to resume races quickly.

The New York State Legislature had essentially two goals in 2001 when it decided to allow the video-lottery machines at racetracks: to help pay for increases in education aid and to revive the struggling racing industry.

In the Yonkers Raceways heyday, more than 30,000 people would be there on Saturdays. But with the opening of the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, the number of visitors declined steadily. By the time the Yonkers Raceway closed for renovations in June 2005, crowds hardly surpassed the 300 mark, and most of the racehorses were aging and slow.

The raceway was dead. It was kind of sad to come here, said David DeCintio, 56, who was visiting the casino for the first time on Sunday. Im hoping things will get better because, Ill tell you, its fun to come to the races, and its even more fun now that you can play with these machines.

In 2004, Saratogas harness racing track became the first in New York to add the video-lottery machines. Last year, visitors poured about $3 billion into machines at Saratoga and four other racetrack parlors upstate.

Players took back about 90 percent of that in winnings, leaving about $155 million for schools after the racetracks and the state took their share, according to the State Lottery Division.

Here, the machines are expected to yield $20 million a year for the schools and to create about 1,500 new jobs, said Yonkers Mayor Philip A. Amicone.

The video-lottery machines resemble electronic slot machines with push buttons. Instead of spitting out coins, the machines issue receipts that must be redeemed by a cashier. Bets range from one cent to $5, and prizes can reach beyond $100,000. The upper limit was not clear.

I usually go to Foxwoods every six weeks or so, but this is very convenient, said Joan Smith, 77, who lives in nearby Irvington. Unfortunately, the temptation will be much greater now.

Empire City Gaming at Yonkers Raceway, as the facility is now known, is now the closest place to New York City for playing slots. The casino is open daily, from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. It has 1,879 machines, but by late December, it is expected to have 5,500, spread over two floors, said Mr. Rooney, whose father owns the track and casino. (His father also owns the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.)

The machines have names such as Mermaids, Big Money and Alien Attack. They display popsicles, strawberries and lollipops; numbers, letters and fruits; or simply piles of cash, big and small.

Some players could be found sitting cross-legged on the black swivel chairs that face each machine, backs erect, eyes glued to the screen. Others were slouched, as if surrendered to the experience.

Its got that Las Vegas feel to it, minus the card tables, said Dolores Vitanza, 59, who lives in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx. She wandered amid the machines on Sunday morning, looking here and there for the right one, she said, whatever it might be.

Tom Celestino, 56, who used to attend the horse races on occasion, said enthusiastically, Its magnificent, as he entered the casinos doors.

Juli Steadman Charkes contributed reporting.

Users who are viewing this thread

Meister Ratings