Editorial | Place your bets on table games in NYC

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If you have a smartphone in New York City, you can now bet on just about any sports game happening in America.

But if sports betting isn’t your thing, and you want to enjoy an evening at a blackjack or poker table instead, you should either hop on the main road, about 100 miles up the state, or the Hudson River bridges. or crossing tunnels into New Jersey.

That doesn’t make much sense, does it?

New York City may be getting another infusion of funds through the mobile sports betting launched here on January 8, but it’s still missing out on traditional gaming. The only local options for games such as baccarat, craps, blackjack and poker are of the video type, available at the Resorts World New York City Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens; or just over the Bronx/Westchester border line, at MGM Empire City Casino on Yonkers Raceway.

Since voters approved table game casinos in New York in 2013, New York State has approved seven licenses. Only four were issued to casino operators, all in the state.

The three open licenses must go to operators setting up shop in the New York City area. Resorts World New York City and Empire City are of course eligible to get licenses; they each have ample space to accommodate table gaming facilities.

The third could go just about anywhere from Manhattan all the way east to the Hamptons.

Adding three full gaming ventures to the New York City area would be a major boon to the city’s recovering economy. It would keep local gamblers close to home, keeping their businesses and tax dollars local rather than sending them to other regions of the country.

Thousands of new jobs would also be created here, providing additional economic opportunities for New Yorkers of all walks of life to move forward.

Casinos in the city would also help to attract new customers from other parts of the country and the world. Travelers would have another reason to come to New York rather than other parts of the world like Las Vegas or Monte Carlo – and our tourism industry would certainly appreciate their business.

Just two decades ago, horse racing and the lottery were the only games in town. But today you can drop $100 on the NFL playoffs, a Knicks or Nets game, or any sporting event in the world, all with the touch of a phone.

If you can do that here, then there’s no reason to keep table games in New York City off the table any longer.

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