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As We See It

New York slot machines take a bigger beating than in Vegas

Hey New Yorkers: what’s with the attitude?
Illustration by Danny Hellman

Before the new Resorts World Casino opened last October in Queens, New York, critics raised all the usual concerns: New Yorkers gambling away their paychecks over lunch; more crime in the surrounding neighborhoods. But open it did. And when the crime wave came, the victims were not what anyone had predicted: They were slot machines. According to The New York Times, 41 people have been arrested for punching, slapping or otherwise abusing the defenseless machines after they fail to deliver a jackpot. So with Vegas’ free-flowing booze, hundreds of thousands of tourists arriving weekly and countless paychecks finding new homes in the Strip’s slots, it’s not hard to imagine local visitors getting a little handsy with their machines. “We only see this very infrequently in Vegas,” says MGM Resorts spokeswoman Yvette Monet. “I think the difference is that people [in Vegas] are on vacation. People have a set income that they set aside for gaming.” Of course, gamblers don’t always stick to their predetermined budgets when the lights start flashing and the cherries start rolling. Perhaps there’s another factor at play in Vegas that prevents the Queens slot machine punch. “They can be cited for destruction of property,” Monet adds. “Our surveillance is state of the art.”

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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