Alright, so we have been waiting to hear from Governor Christie’s task force studying the gaming issue ( set to report this week assuming it is on sked ), and now we have Democrats calling for a “Gaming Summit” to figure out what to do. Basically, everyone is still wringing their hands trying to determine the best way to balance the competing interests of the Atlantic City Casinos and the Horse Racing Industry.
The race tracks want to bring in slots and VLT’s to attract new customers, but the casinos have been saying “no” to that for years.
Here is my question…when are the casinos gonna stop trying to stifle competition and simply make a better product?? I mean seriously, the amount of money they spend on lobbyists and other efforts to engineer a New Jersey that is devoid of anything that might harm their bottom line is in the long run, truly counter-productive. That money would be better spent reinvested in their casinos. Shouldn’t they just accept that we live in a changing world and work instead at making AC such an awesome place to visit that people wanna come there no matter what???
Don’t get me wrong. I love Atlantic City. Anytime I spend 24-hours there I can assure you that it is packed with lots-o-fun. But it could be better. And a coupla years ago I did actually have a bit of an uncomfortable moment when I wandered off the boardwalk to hit the nearby liquor store ( not quite as scary as my recent visit to “The Liquor Barn” just outside Indianapolis, but that’s a whole other story ). If there was a slight makeover to the surrounding area I think people would feel better moving around off the grid which would be good for the surrounding businesses as well as the casinos ( Um, Yes. I realize none of what I am saying here is remotely original or particularly insightful ).
Now, let’s talk about the ponies. The bottom line is tastes are changing. Nobody young goes to the track anymore ( at least at the Meadowlands ), and any guy who still does is a bit of a throw-back. I bet he smokes Pall Mall cigarettes. And he probably still gets a little misty-eyed when he hears Gordon Lightfoot tunes…particularly that one about the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald. That guy is a relic, folks. The race tracks ( in which NJ is heavily invested ) need some new entertainment. And not necessarily of the untoward variety…but different types of gambling options – tables, slots and sports wagering.
Ok, there. I’ve said my piece. Now who wants to meet me in AC this weekend?