Nina In New York: Poker? I Barely Know ‘Er! And Other Casino-Related Thoughts

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

I am not a gambler. When I do wind up at casinos, I typically begrudgingly agree to spend no more than, say, $60. And when I’m out, I’m out. I’m happy to spend the rest of my time watching others lose their cash and taking advantage of the free drinks. The biggest night I ever had was when I put a few dollars into a nickel slot and won $100. As soon as the lights stopped flashing, I collected my quarters and cashed out.

More: A New Yorker’s Travel Guide To Casinos

“Really?” my husband said. “That’s it?”

“I’m up! It isn’t going to get any better than this. I’m out,” I declared.

It’s perhaps the one impulsive, financially-irresponsible vice in which I do not partake. Not because I have anything against it, but because I’d much rather blow a bunch of money on a cute dress or a nice dinner than on . . . well . . . nothing. But that’s just me.

I’ve been considering Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s idea to bring casinos to Coney Island, and I can see the concerns on both sides of the issue. I think it would be helpful to weigh out some of the pros and cons.

Pro: It would bring in some pretty solid revenue for the city so they can maybe stop doing jerk things like fining people for putting their garbage out at the wrong time and messing with parking meters and ticketing smokers. Jerks.

Con: It could give rise to a whole new community of gambling addicts in New York City.

Pro: It would create jobs, a commodity we’re a little low on these days.

Con: The leper colony mole people nice guys that once populated the city’s OTBs will emerge from their single room occupancies and install themselves on Coney Island immediately.

Pro: The poor people who were displaced when the OTBs closed will once again have a home.

Con: Bloomberg thinks that gambling can have a “regressive effect” on society.

Pro: We’re already a bunch of degenerates, what’s the difference? Also, Bloomberg almost dried up NYC last week, remember? Credibility: down.

Con: Casinos breed bad behavior and poor decisions.

Pro: This city has become far too wholesome as it is.

Personally, I think the “pros” have it! Where do you land on the concept?


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

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  • Robert Moses

    Nina forgot to mention that allowing a casino in New York City carries two huge and intolerable risks: (1) increased tax revenues for the City, and (2) jobs for City residents. These risks MUST be avoided AT ALL COSTS.

    Remember that cities exist only to accommodate and subsidize suburbs (where REAL Americans live). Therefore, all new jobs and tax revenues MUST be reserved for the suburbs.

  • Molly

    I think the cons outweigh the pros. Gambling is an expensive habit that breeds addiction.



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