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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Slots Fervor Never Ceases to Amaze

I was at the Big A on Saturday, entering through the grand entrance to the casino this time, standing there wild-eyed while sending a couple of twitters about how astounded I still am about the transformation of the grandstand to Resorts World. And then another one one later on expressing amazement at just how the crowd had grown at that point, around 4:30. It was absolutely packed, from end to end (and that covers a lot of ground, think approximately the entire length of the Big A stretch). There's a sign posted saying that the capacity on the first floor is around 9,000, and I wonder how close they were to that number, even at that point in the afternoon.

Got a response to that last tweet saying: people like slots. Are you seriously surprised by this? To which I replied that I'm not surprised, but still taken aback seeing it so close to home in a place (formerly) as familiar as Aqueduct. Thinking about that further however, I guess there is indeed a certain amount of incredulity - not specifically that Resorts World was crowded then, or at any specific point in time; but - still - just about the whole idea that people do indeed like slots! I don't know if I'll ever fully understand or accept that. Guess that's what the phrase never ceases to amaze is for.

Did spend a little quality time in there, enjoying an afternoon cocktail at the Bar 360. There's actually a very pleasant lounge area behind the bar and facing out onto the racetrack which would be perfect for a few betting windows if Genting wasn't so focused on keeping their customers focused on their tedious task at hand. Also must say that the food and drink prices are extremely reasonable....if not downright cheap in this day and age. Where else can one get a Stella draft for $6.50? Forget other sports venues - $11.75 at Met Life Stadium, $9.50 at the Garden (just for a can) - I don't know if you can find many bars anywhere in the city that would match that price. Even though Teresa insisted on a premium liquor brand, still got change back from a 20 after leaving a tip.

And then, there's the racing side.

This is the Manhattan Terrace room, where they've now taken out the round tables and chairs and replaced them with these desk cubby things. When I wrote recently that I'd hoped that NYRA would at least have, as part of some cursory improvements, replaced and updated some of the seating, these were specifically what I was talking about. I dunno, maybe patrons have expressed fondness for them, because they are prevalent throughout the track. I think they're absolutely hideous though. Besides being extremely space inefficient, the aesthetic is just awful, at least to me. And, as the day goes on, empty cups, discarded food wrappers and abandoned programs and papers accumulate, and it's just downright ugly and depressing. A long ways from the pristine facilities of the casino that's just next door, but seemingly a mile away.

- Dutrow is on fire these days. Three winners from three starters on the day, including Redeemed ($4.90), who took the Discovery, earning a Beyer of 96. That gives him 11 winners from 23 starters at the meeting, for a winning percentage of 48%. The kind that makes people suspicious. Of course, considering that he's fighting a ten-year suspension, from which he received an indefinite stay while he challenges the ban in the court system, one might think that, as one reader noted, he has some proving to do to the nyra by not using the needle anymore. Though how do we know, as the reader continues, that he's not using that "spiked up vaseline?" For all we know, maybe he's really trying to prove that he can still get away with whatever it is he gets away with!

9 Comments:

Teresa said...

Hey! I don't recall your exact words, but they were along the lines of, "Get the good stuff!"

It was a bit worrying to hear from the bartender, when I asked what the well bourbon was, "I don't know but I can check. It comes from the gun."

In addition to all the other "brave new world"y elements of the casino, add bourbon from a gun. Never heard of that one before.

alan said...

Teresa's account is correct....I was using "artistic license," lol.

They serve bourbon and other alcohol from a "gun" in the bars on the concourses at the Garden. Or at least they used to before the renovation.

Anonymous said...

hey babe is blowing them out of the water and he won't be stopped unless his desk is cleaned out from his barn with all that laffy taffy he has been using on his horse's. Man is he on a mission. You see his BIG smiles he has in the winner's circle. :):):):)

Anonymous said...

Nice crummy old filthy chair's being still used at the Big A as far as I can see Allen. I heard pigs won't use their toilets. They still have those old old big tv's on the second floor room with more old tv's from the 80's hanging all around. Broken down tables and chairs. What a disgrace for all New Yorker's to be subject to all this.

Anonymous said...

That photo makes me sad.

SaratogaSpa said...

Writer Charles P. Pierce described racino's best when he wrote:

"Putting slot machines in a racetrack is very much like opening a wine bar and advertising that you have an All U Can Smoke crack buffet in the lobby".

jk said...

The horseman and slot players are not on crack, both groups benefit from the new slot parlor.

As for the horse players who subject themselves to 50 year old linoleum floors and pigeon droppings next door at the Big A...you can draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the horseplayer got about $40 from the slot money.

Figless said...

jk, agree, only reason I can comprehend to go to the Big A is to experience the action live and in person, outside, with freinds. If one is going to sit at a desk and watch it on TV then watch it at home or at an OTB, why subject yourself to the commute and conditions?