New York City is taking a cue from Las Vegas.
Taking advantage of the huge influx of tourists that the city welcomes on a daily basis, there has been a major call for slot machines to be installed inside New York City’s major airports (namely LaGuardia Airport, Newark International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport). Do you think this is a good idea? Let’s find out.
First up, slot machines and other forms of gambling inside airports and other public places is definitely not a new phenomenon. In Las Vegas, the world’s gambling mecca, gaming consoles like video lottery and slot machines can be found in places where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic like airports and other conspicuous public spots.
Putting gambling stations in these places can give the local government’s coffers a big boost. Here’s how it can work.
It is a well-known fact that tourists are excellent cash cows. They are a great source of income for cities. In New York City, where nearly 55 million of tourists visit each year, they represent an untapped financial potential. It is estimated that these tourists generate nearly $55 billion for the city on a yearly basis. This is a huge boon to local businesses and the hospitality sector (which employees nearly 400,000 people).
Slot machines are a great way to maximize the financial potential of these tourists.
Though states like Las Vegas and Massachusetts have very lax rules when it comes to gambing in public spaces, in New York it is a very different matter altogether. Until recently, casino games and other forms of gambling activity were illegal in NYC. The state referendum for the legalization of gambling was already voted with approval in the early part of November this year, but it was initially met with some resistance. Its passage will pave the way for the establishment of seven casinos inside the city.
But is placing slot machines in airports a good idea? Won’t this be a security and logistical nightmare?
The answer is no. These airport slot machines can be easier to manage than those found in established casinos. One: only ticketed passengers can be allowed access to the consoles. Two: these machines will be placed near the security check-in.
Three: the area where the slot machines are placed will be cordoned off from the general public and no underaged children will be allowed to enter.
All of these safeguards, which are commonly not present in large established casinos, will remove the bad elements that people often associate with gambling. There’s no prostitution, no violence, no drinking, and no shady characters. Only plain slot machines, nothing more.
If this plan can be implemented successfully, think of all the money that airport slots can generate. Those people who are lounging around waiting for their flights or who are trying to pass off time on a layover can just head off to the slots area and play.
It’s a win-win situation for all. Tourists get to enjoy themselves, and the city government generates extra income.