Genting Malaysia’s Resorts World Casino’s video lottery terminals (VLTs) can dish out the dollars and take it on the chin, evidently.
The Queens-based racino, which paid out $3 billion in winnings to the users of its VLTs between the months of April and June, has experienced a surge in the number of sourpuss gamblers who take their money-losing frustrations out on the racino’s gambling machines, The New York Times reports.
The damage inflicted to these machines, by way of punches and kicks, often results in additional monetary losses for the offender. Angry gambler Catherine Beckett caused $1,800-worth in damage after she slapped a VLT not once, not twice, but thrice. And despite the victim being an inanimate object, these assaults can also lead to jail time. Sarah Maslin Nir reports:
In Queens, the police have arrested 41 people who attacked slot machines since the casino opened last October. By comparison, in the same time period there have been 19 arrests of casino patrons for larcenies, mostly pickpocketing, and 19 arrests for assault, according to records kept by the Queens district attorney’s office.
Those arrested for beating up a gambling machine are charged with criminal mischief in the third degree, which carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail.
“I quite frankly was somewhat surprised when I saw the numbers,” said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, whose office prosecutes the cases. “The last thing that I anticipated was that we would have patrons punching out the machines. I guess they assume the machines won’t fight back.”
George Gervan told cops that he punched through a VLT screen after losing $300 “without a bonus,” The NYT said. “And I’d do it again,” the bruising bettor added (Mr. Gervan got 90 days in jail for his offense).
Since opening in October 2011, the Genting Malaysia racino has earned $7.6 billion in wagers, $3.178 billion of which came between the months of April and June. Other racinos in the state did not fare as well, some averaging wagers less than $2 billion between the months of April and June.
With the possibility of casino gaming being legalized in NY, and with gaming operators like MGM and Wynn Resorts lobbying local politicians across the state, casinos may want to think about hiring extra security for their slot machines and blackjack dealers.