Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Would you like a betting ticket with that?
I put out a plea on Twitter to my 497 followers begging for ideas to write about for today’s 2.0 installment. I got what I expected: 0 responses. But that’s OK because I found something that’s better than bacon, ham and sausage all together.
(“Dad, those all come from the same animal,” Lisa said.
“Right, Lisa, some magical, wonderful animal!” said Homer.)
This is good, good stuff.
Check out New Jersey, the Garden State, not-so-famously known for its large and flat expanses of farmland tended to by no fewer than 40 illegal aliens. This state just keeps on tickin’. Go to the link ...
New Jersey lawmakers drew up a bill that would allow some restaurants and bars to install off-track wagering terminals. This sure beats the at-your-booth jukebox playing old Mariah Carey and Don McLean’s “American Pie” again, again and again.
I’d love to step over the blood from a stab wound and rock down the steps of Tin and Lint in Saratoga Springs. I want to see Los Alamitos on my ticket, maybe a little Mountaineer with my Saranac Pale Ale. Why not?
When you can’t get people to the OTBs, bring the OTBs to the people. I can see it already. “Yes, I’ll have the cheeseburger, fries and $6 on the 4 to win.”
Booze and gambling go together like Bon Jovi and a perm. Just think of the songs Bruce Springsteen could unlock if this bill goes through. It’ll give new meaning to “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”
And look, New Jersey doesn’t refer to OTBs as OTBs: they’re OTWs, an Off-Track Wagering parlor. Who’s got dibs on OTGs?
Anyway, under the current construct the bill calls for 60 licenses, though that number will likely be lower, according to an nj.com story. The beauty of bringing horse racing to a bar or restaurant is like giving the patrons a hypodermic needle of racing to their blood. Tie off a vein and fix that with some Daily Double.
The other beauty is that the facilities are already built, aren’t they? According to the story, the startup costs for an OTW are at minimum $4 million and could be as high as $12. A million saved is a million earned.
I say take out “Golden Tee” and put up a betting window. Do you see “Buck Hunter?” Give it the heave-ho and put up a betting terminal. “Donkey Kong?” Please! Put in a betting terminal. I can already see discounted drinks when you present a betting ticket, a losing one, of course.
The thoroughbred and standardbred horse groups support the measure, and so should you.
It’s about time Keno had some competition.
Brendan O'Meara is the author of "Six Weeks in Saratoga." Follow him on Twitter.