makeover: Video gaming
comes to harness track
As reported by the Daily Freeman
NY - Monticello
Raceway, which opened 46 years ago today, will become home
on June 30 to Mighty M Gaming, a casino-like facility with row
after row of video gaming machines, 1,743 in all.
machines you can play for as little a nickel, or as much as
$10 - and more than $10 if playing multiple lines on a single
can win up to $50,000, but payouts at machines will not exceed
$600. Those hitting higher jackpots will be escorted to the
"cage," where a cashier will issue a check.
in the Lava Lounge will host live performances by local and
nationally known performers. The Mighty Mmmm Food Court, Player's
Club booths, a gift shop and a 350-seat eatery dubbed the Winner's
Circle Buffet will round out the gaming facility.
line the shoulders of roads heading toward the raceway, and
a media blitz is in full swing to build anticipation.
is similar to what preceded the opening of the harness track
in 1958, and while attendance for the horse races has fallen
off from nearly 20,000 on a good day to just a few hundred,
there still are those who remember the glory days.
was a lot of anticipation. Sports writers wrote about it,"
John Manzi, publicity manager for Mighty M Gaming, said of Monticello
Raceway's early days. "Horses were king. It was probably
as anticipated then as ... casinos are today. It was the only
place you could make a legal bet."
THIS track was built, most of our business was people coming
in," said Cliff Ehrlich, senior vice president of Mighty
M Gaming at Monticello
show us pictures, women wore mink coats," said Charles
Degliomini, vice president for corporate communications at Empire
Resorts. "It was quite the social occasion."
one time, this was the only place you could make a legal bet
in New York state," Degliomini said. "There was no
(Off-Track Betting), there were no casinos, no lottery."
gaming prepares to make its debut at Monticello, an additional
400 people have been hired, including roving floor ambassadors
will strive to ensure everyone all visitors enjoy their experience.
gaming machines that will be used in Monticello
were built by three vendors: IGT and Bally's, which manufacture
their machines in Nevada; and Spielo, which is based in Rhode
Island but manufactures equipment in Canada.
said that to the players, the machines will be indistinguishable
from those found in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Indian-run