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Monday, January 22, 2007

Racinos In a Cage

- According to an article in the NY Times today, the racino at Yonkers have earned $55 million since opening day, Oct. 11, and $29.9 million of that will be spent on education. One player tells of the games' appeal: “Playing a table game, you have to make a decision....With a machine, there’s no decision.”

If she doesn't want to make a decision on table games, imagine how challenging horse racing would be! I suppose that it's attitudes like this that cause racetrack/racino operators to totally shun the idea of attempting to cross them over.

And I've mentioned the oddly soothing cacophany of sounds that make up the soundtrack of a VLT hall. The Times reporter compares it to something John Cage might have dreamed up, and I rather like that comparison, both musically and figuratively. Why have the extra distraction of horse racing in the racino cage?

I got a very nice note from a reader in Pennsylvania who is an owner of a breeding farm, and naturally stands to reap the benefits of the slots bonanza there. However, she told me that she experienced quite a culture shock upon her first trip to the Philly Park casino, and expressed mixed feelings, reporting that "they blocked off the entire view of the track from the first (for smokers) and second floors (non smokers), just so that people would sit endlessly unaware of anything else going on."