Taking a Flutter

Taking a Flutter

I don’t gamble, and I’ve never been to Vegas. So, how did I end up at Resorts World Casino New York City on the day after Christmas?

The truth is I started the day with the intention of visiting The WhereTraveler Books + More retail store in the JetBlue terminal at JFK. I'm an editor at Where New York magazine, and being a loyal (and curious) employee, I wanted to check out my parent company's new venture, which opened in September. The “A” train stops just a few blocks from my Village apartment, so I hopped a Howard Beach-bound AirTrain. Less than an hour later and I’m at the terminal. But, alas, I needed a plane ticket (pick a destination, any destination) to get beyond the security checkpoint and into the retail concourse. Duh.

What to do? Tuck tail and head back to Manhattan. Except that the first stop on the Manhattan-bound “A” was Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue. Resorts World beckoned at the far end of the station’s sky bridge. It’s now or never, I thought. What the hell?

There’s an undeniable excitement about Resorts World, even at 2 p.m. Thousands of punters (young and old) concentrating as they exercise their fingers at thousands of slot machines and electronic table games. Plush carpets absorb the constant stream of noise, while zippers announce the good fortune of so-and-so from Bayonne who just won $25,000. Visions of sun-drenched destinations (the ticket to ride I should have had earlier on) dance in my head. So, what’s my first port of call? The Food Court, of course.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I ordered a foot-long hot dog at The Stage deli, a side of coleslaw and a lemonade. I plotted my strategy and $ limit (20 bucks) between super-size bites. Yeah, I’m a high roller. 

When it was time to hit the slots. I escalatored to the second-floor Fifth Avenue Casino, randomly chose a slot—can’t remember the name, something like Prince Valiant—eased into the cushy seat near the plateglass window overlooking Aqueduct racetrack and put in a $5 bill. I kept hitting the button (you can tell I didn’t know what I was doing and still don’t know the lingo) and racked up $8. Not a bad return on a $5 investment, so I cashed in my “winnings” and proceeded downstairs to the equally grand and vast Times Square Casino, where I squandered them and the remaining $12 of my allowance.

So, I didn’t walk away with $25,000. I had fun and would definitely go back. Hey, this being New York, you never know how a day will turn out, do you?

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Photos courtesy of Resorts World Casino New York City