Tampa Opens, the Times Hadn't Heard Of It
Sunday, November 26, 2017

    Tampa Bay Downs opened yesterday and 4,212 showed up even though there was no stakes race carded on the initial program. On-track handle was $317,112, and the per capita $75, about average for the track, and continuing to show that the Bay area bettors like to show up, but they don't come with their wallets or purses bulging

    Despite field sizes that continually eclipse most of the other venues, ITW handle (what was bet around the state) was minute - $180,884 - but ISW (everywhere else) reached $2,612,606, putting the total handle at more than $3.1 million. It will get better

    True to its abandoning racing in recent months and years, the Tampa Bay Times didn't have one word on the Tampa opening in Saturday's edition, other than the entries. 

     NO PLAY - Mardi Gras (Hollywood dogs) has been inactive since the hurricane - closed for renovations. The effect on surrounding racinos, mainly Gulfstream Park and Dania Jai Alai, has been very apparent. More on that tomorrow. 

    BAD BEAT RECORD - Andy Beyer wrote a column several years ago about a man who was supposed to win a big racetrack jackpot, but a weird quirk in the rules prevented him from collecting. He called it the worst "bad beat"of all time. That one has to take a back seat to one that's infinitely better.

    A woman named Katrina Bookman, playing the slots early this month at Resorts World Casino New York (at Aqueduct), thought she had made that life-changing score when the screen popped up with the news that she had hit for $42.9 million. Casino employees rushed over to her, but no prize voucher was printed out. The casino people said the machine was broken. 

    The New York State Gaming Commission removed the machine from the floor and after examination, announced that the proper payoff should have been $2.25 and the display of $42.9 million"was clearly a malfunction."

   The woman's lawyer answered: "Does that mean that a casino can always say a machine is broken whenever someone hits and hits big?"

    The commission said that the penny slot machine Bookman was playing has a max payout of $6,500. The highest possible prize payout at Resorts World Casino is $500,000. 

    But all was not lost - as a consolation the casino offered the woman a steak dinner.  You can bet we haven't heard the last of this sad tale.    







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