About 3 months shy of a year’s anniversary, Resorts World Casino apparently pulled in $15mil just in one week (July 1-7). With that sort of streak, it’s no wonder that they have surpassed Atlantic City as the new “gambling mecca” in the Tri-State area. Even though it’s only a slots only establishment (whereas the other casinos like Mohegan Sun, Atlantic City have actual dealers), the numbers are astounding.
Disclaimer: I’ve been in the casino once. It was loud, cold and I forgot my shawl.
Since Resorts World Casino opened in Queens back in October of 2011, there has been mixed reviews on its location. Some background information: It is situated in the former Aqueduct Racetrack, a stone’s throw away from the residents of Ozone Park/Howard Beach/Richmond Hill, and literally a bus ride away (the Q37 bus’ amended route includes a stop into the casino) for the rest of New York’s citizens. If you live further, you can always fly in (JFK Airport is right around the corner) and take the Airtrain into the Howard Beach station and catch a connecting A train to the Aqueduct-North Conduit station (which was renovated by Genting, the parent owner of Resorts World).
There were people for and against the construction of the casino. Some people weren’t fond of the idea of a casino right in their own backyards (NIMBY) because it would
- raise the percentage of crime activity (there was an increase)
- make people gamble more
- displace the people who participated in the Aqueduct flea market (the flea market have since disbanded)
The people who were for this project (including our own Governor Andrew Cuomo, who wants to have more casinos in the city of New York supported the casino idea because
- it would create jobs in the building of
- it would create local jobs with people from the neighborhood
- the gambling revenue would benefit education (as in NY, supposedly all lottery revenue generated goes to education, although in reality some revenue actually goes to the racing association to supplement the upkeep of racetracks)
(Historically, their revenue so far is $7.6 Billion. From their weekly net of $15mil from 7/1-7, they returned $6.5mil back to the state for education)
With all the news fluff about how great the casino is though, there have been stories (hilarious) where people have been “maiming” the slot machines. Chalk it up to being a sore loser, really. Apparently the damages usually ranged from $1-2k of damage and the crime can carry up a year in jail. You do however, get to avoid the latter if you paid the damages. One would think this kind of stuff would never happen in Nicky Santoro’s Casino.
While talking about something financially successful, now it’s time to change channels and focus on the not so “financially sound” MTA. Taking their economic cries with a grain of salt, as every other year they cry poverty while spending obscene amount of monies on bloated capital projects (eg: what seems like an eternity of construction with the East Side Access project) and massive PR stunt (eg: the reactive Fasttrack project that seems to really benefit the MTA’s PR image).
Yesterday it hit the news that the MTA is looking to sell ad space right in the front of their MetroCards. Iconic yellow-gold no more! While the MTA is trying to expand their touch-and-go-pay system (which with their record we will probably not see for another good 5-10 years), currently they are trying to raise more revenue with this new venture. It’s commendable, I am curious to see what agencies will commission the cards. When done tastefully (like the wraps on the Grand Central Station Shuttle), I will admit the ads do not look too intrusive. Since I don’t spend too much time staring at any parts of my MetroCard (except when using it), I hope they get a good amount for this. According to the MTA, there is no limit to what can be on the cards as long as it doesn’t block the magnetic strip, and is not religious (thank the baby Jesus). They can also “microplace” ad-specific cards in up to 10 stations to better target their demographics.
How much will this cost advertisers? Agencies, contact the MTA to find out! However, it can cost anywhere from 18-51 cents to advertise on the backs of the cards (with a minimum of 50,000 cards ordered), so you can take that as an indicator (maybe front space would be anywhere from $3-5/each).
With that said, as a collector of MetroCards (or hoarder, they do make great bookmarks) I can’t wait to see this unfold.