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Saratoga Gaming and Raceway: Saratoga racino- a bad bet

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  • Saratoga Gaming and Raceway: Saratoga racino- a bad bet

    I don’t have much of anything good to say about this casino....well, technically racino. In general, it seems to be so tight that whoever plays, loses so much money over even a short period of time that even the argument for gambling as entertainment falls sour on my ears.Perhaps seeing a friend drop $35,000 in just over a year there skews my appreciation. He has no way to recoup the money he had saved to use as a house deposit. He is missing all these house deals. He has signed himself out of the casino, so they should not let him play there again were he tempted.Then an older couple I know drop hundreds every week. I try to get them to take the money and go to Vegas where they could be really entertained, but I can’t move them. It is expensive entertainment, and the slots are so tight that even they admit that they can’t win over the course of a year and be ahead. Once in a great while they leave with a win or two, ahead.The VP boarders on criminal. The machines are fake. They are Class II machines, basically bingo machines with a predetermined payout, making our choices and any paytable calculation totally irrelevant. If we make a stupid play when the machine has decided it is time to pay us, a little cartoon genie comes out on the screen and changes our choices so we we have the right cards.At other times good choices go unrewarded. Unlike the video poker games that most of us play, the cards displayed are not from a 52 card virtual deck as they are most other places, but just a cute way to present the slot result. How this sort of greedy bait and switch is allowed to prey on gambling folks is just hard for me to understand.The food is minimal except for the buffet. I do like that. Everything is tasty. Great beef. I go, have that, and then watch the harness races. They are so much better than the casino. The more famous flat track is a bit away from the track with machines, and has a shorter season.There is no live poker at the racino. Florida put fine poker rooms in their horse and dog tracks and the two entertainments work very well together. Folks in Florida can play cards and bet horses/dogs. Not New York State. I have not played the new electronic table games or seen mathematical analysis, but those at least offer some hope for a decent gamble. So that is one positive new note. Also, you can gamble there if you are 18 years old. That is another.There is talk in New York of expanding gambling in the state. Hopefully that would mean including live poker that competes with Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. But for now, I advise you, against my own self interest in seeing NY get more tax dollars, to save your money and buy a flight to Vegas, or just play the horses. Watching horses run is still a rich and most wonderful experience. It may have a high vigorish for those of us who are not handicappers, but I have read that because the betting moves at a slower pace, it often ends up raking less than those fast moving bingo slots, especially for those of us who are just as well entertained by a frugal bet. You can bet as little as a dollar on the horses. My friend who barred himself from the racino still goes to the horses every season. He has a rather simple way of picking only certain races to bet. He wins at least as often as he loses. Probably, he is ahead for the hobby.

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