RSS Feed for this Blog

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Responsible Gaming

The New York State Senate passed a last-minute measure that will permit the state's racinos to stay open until 6AM instead of the current 4AM.  The Assembly had passed it the day before, and it now goes to Governor Cuomo for signature. 

The bill was pushed by a number of VLT parlors, but sources say Genting New York, which operates the Aqueduct casino facility, was among those most interested in its passage. [Bloodhorse]
The bill also increases free-play allowances that racinos can extend to their customers, and while I don't really know nor care exactly what that means, I presume it's just another way to get people to sit in front of the slots machines like zombies and piss away more of their money. 
"This bill is needed to provide incentives for individuals to visit the video lottery gaming facilities in order for these facilities to enhance revenues and attendance," states a memo accompanying the legislation.
Well, whatever.  But let me ask you this:  What happened to the thing we've always heard from NYGA about how they promote "responsible gaming?" 
New York Gaming Association (NYGA) members are deeply invested in their communities and care about their patrons.
Right. I'm so sure. 
NYGA is committed to promoting responsible gaming and is a proud member of the National Council on Problem Gambling.  In addition, NYGA works closely with the New York Council on Problem Gambling on the creation of “Best Practices” analysis of existing policies, practices and procedures.
I'd like somebody to explain to me how allowing and encouraging its patrons to stay and gamble until six o'clock in the morning can in any way qualify as responsible gaming?  (As if 4AM wasn't bad enough.)  Or as a "Best Practice" for dealing with problem gamblers?  And while we're told that the upstate racinos are having a tough year, Genting is thriving at the Big A, so what motive other than pure greed would motivate them to be the main driver behind this bill?  Concern for their fellow NYGA members?  Like Yonkers, who they're trying to drive out of business with a Tuxedo casino less than 40 miles away?  I suppose they wanted to get some return for all the money they've donated to the politicians responsible for passing this, and to the governor who will no doubt go along and sign it.

Just goes to show you how full of it all of these companies are when they talk about responsible gaming and caring about the community and family attractions and bucolic ponds and water parks and entertainment and any perk not having to do with gambling.  It's all an attempt to put a smiling benevolent face on what is nothing but a cold-blooded enterprise with no other goal but to plop people in front of a machine or a table and part them from their money.  And people actually fall for this crap.  I'd guess that some of those extra goodies won't even get built.  Like....remember this?

The grand fountain on the left that was supposed to greet visitors to Resorts World at Aqueduct?  What ever happened to that?  If I lived in Tuxedo, I'd take the promise of these fountains with a grain of salt!

And I'd probably be skeptical of all of the goodies that Genting says will accompany their proposed Sterling Forest Resort.  Like the redesign of the Sterling Forest gardens to be designed by a nationally-renowned team of landscape artists, and the New York Ice and Snow Festival, and the "adventureworld" at the ski center and the year-round family fun and excitement it will provide, and the first class ski center.

But at least I wouldn't have to be wary of a promise to uphold the standards of 'responsible gaming.'  There's not a single mention of it on the entire Sterling Forest website.  I guess they forgot to include that particular lie.

 - As one might have expected, the Gaming Commission rejected the appeal by Montgomery County, on behalf of the developer interested in building there, to defer part of the licensing fee and grant a 60-day extension to submit the application.