Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New York Casino Using Robot Croupiers

Daily Mail: New York's first casino has opened to a frenzied crowd after successfully side-stepping gambling laws - by staffing its tables with robots.

The Aqueduct racino - so called because it is connected with the race track in South Ozone Park, Queens - has done away with human dealers in favour of mechanical arms. It also features 5,000 video gambling terminals and some 200 electronic table games including craps and roulette.

New York state regulations prohibit live casino games, but allow electronic gambling at race tracks.

On its opening day on Friday, the Resorts World Casino, was swamped by a 15,000 capacity crowd, with a further 5,000 lining up outside.

To remain in accordance with state rules that prevent human-operated table games, guests shot craps using two fingers and a touch screen. Meanwhile, a roulette game was supervised by a chesty cyber-woman who leaned forward immodestly as she spun the little white ball on a pixilated wheel.

But some gamblers weren't so impressed.

'It's very confusing,' Lennox Bailey, 35, told the New York Daily News after trying his hand at computerised baccarat. 'I like it better with the people... this is just you and the machine.'

JohnPaul Difava, a 'slot ambassador' for the casino, argued the faceless table games were 'better than going all the way to Atlantic City.'

'I'm sure there will be a lot of confusion in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy,' he said.

The casino, which has been a decade in the pipeline and took a year to build, is predicted to add more than $1 million to the state funds. However, anti-gambling advocates argue that the economic benefits are far outweighed by the potential social problems.

'Crime might go up,' said Zenaida Carson, 25, a business analyst who lives nearby in South Ozone Park. 'This is gambling and drinking - and it's right next to a school.'

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