If you have a smartphone in New York City, you can now bet on any sports game being played in the United States.
But if you’re not into betting on sports and want to enjoy a night at the blackjack or poker tables, then you’ll need to hop on the highway about 100 miles north or cross the Hudson River bridge or tunnel to New Jersey.
That doesn’t make much sense, does it?
New York City may be getting a new infusion of money through its mobile sports betting venture that launched here Jan. 8, but it’s still missing out on traditional games. The only local options for games like baccarat, craps, blackjack and poker are the video genres, available at New York City’s Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens; or right on the Bronx/Westchester border at the MGM Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway.
Since voters approved table game casinos in New York in 2013, the state has approved seven licenses. Only four have been issued to casino operators, all of which are in the Upstate.
Three Open Permits should be issued to operators setting up store in the New York City area. Resorts World New York City and Empire City are natural candidates for the permits; they each have enough space to accommodate tabletop gaming facilities.
The third one can go anywhere else from Manhattan all the way to the East to the Hamptons.
Adding three full gaming businesses to the New York City area would be a boon to the city’s economic recovery. It would keep local bettors closer to home, keeping their businesses and taxes local rather than sending them to other parts of the country.
Thousands of new jobs will be created here, opening up more economic development opportunities for New Yorkers from all walks of life.
The city’s casinos will also help attract new customers from the country and other parts of the world. Travelers will have another reason to come to New York instead of other parts of the world, such as Las Vegas or Monte Carlo – and our tourism industry will certainly appreciate their business.
Just twenty years ago, horse racing and lotteries were the only games in town. But today, you can put $100 on an NFL playoff game, a Knicks or Nets game, or any other sports event in the world, all from your cell phone.
If you can do that here, then there’s no reason to keep NYC tabletop games off the table!
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