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My Resolution: Bailouts For Everyone!

My Resolution: Bailouts For Everyone!

Happy New Year! Lots of prosperity to you this year, and all that sort of garbage.
Hey, I’m an optimist. Yes, the economy’s in the tank, but as you’ve probably guessed, I have all the answers on how we can get through this mess.
I’ll give the answers to you for free. That’s right. As I sit here in my private jet, complaining to my pilot that there’s not enough pâté, I can’t help but think as I light my cigar with $100 bills that there are a lot of casino executives out there wondering how they’re going to make ends meet in 2009.
OK, so I’m sitting in my wife’s ’92 Sable, munching on half a Snickers bar and wondering if there’s enough coolant so the thing won’t overheat. Again. But my point is, I have the solution:
A congressional bailout.
That’s right. Look at Wall Street-the very suited guys who caused our mess by slamming the door on credit to casino projects, mainly because they got themselves in a fix by approving mortgages to anyone who was tall enough to look over the counter. (For a while, my bank had cardboard cutout of the cartoon kid “Henry,” with a sign: “If you’re as tall as Henry, you qualify for a mortgage!”) If Wall Street can get a bailout, why can’t we?
Then there’s the auto industry, which is getting a Detroit bailout as a loan from the Wall Street bailout money. (I hope they get it. It’s probably my fault they’re in this mess, what with not buying another car to replace the ’92 Sable and all.)
Yes, bailouts for everyone! When Detroit gets their bailout, they should take some of that money and give it to Greektown, so that casino doesn’t go on the block. The Wall Street folks can take some of their bailout money and give it to Harrah’s, MGM, Pinnacle and anyone else who can say they have a casino construction site that needs weed-killer.
OK, so you have a better solution to get the casino industry through the economic crisis? I didn’t think so. Let the bailout money flow! Uncle Sam can play Santa, and we can all get our projects started again, and governments can get more casino taxes so they have enough money to indict Pennsylvania casino owners and Illinois governors and such. Everybody wins!
OK, I’ve got another solution. Everybody should just have Steve Wynn build them something. If you didn’t turn to this page as soon as you got this magazine-and hey, who doesn’t?-you may have noticed that we’ve got a feature on the new Encore project that opened last month. It’s a decidedly high-end project in the middle of a decidedly low-end economy, and you know what? It’s going to succeed. If nothing else, it’s going to succeed for one reason:
“Switch.”
Here’s a restaurant with great cuisine by a great chef, former Le Cirque executive chef Marc Poidevin, but that’s not even the reason you’re going to need to make reservations, like, a year in advance. Get this:
The place completely changes around you as you’re eating dinner. The walls drop and flip, the ceilings change, colors change. The place you finish dinner in is not the same place you started in. It’s not even the same place you ordered dessert in. The architectural design changes three times during a meal.
I wish my house was designed that way. I could get up in a ranch house and go to bed in a Cape Cod. Great idea!
Encore’s got other great ideas, too, like glass walls that let in natural light, and a “Sinatra” restaurant that displays Frank’s Oscar for From Here to Eternity, the Grammy from “My Way,” and his bodyguard’s brass knuckles. (OK, just the Oscar and the Grammy.)
If Steve Wynn gives one idea like this to each of the other big casino companies, we’ll all be out of this economic fix in no time. Oh, he’s a businessman, not a philanthropist? Alright, maybe he doesn’t want to help out his competitors. I’ll have to think of something else.
You know, I keep coming back to the bailout idea. It’s not like it’s anything new. Chrysler got bailed out by the feds 28 years ago. (Remember the “K-Car?” Wonder why they need another bailout?) Heck, even George Bailey got bailed out in It’s A Wonderful Life. (Sorry. I just watched that movie.)
After the casinos get bailed out, then the feds can give me my bailout.
Then, I can buy a new Sable.
Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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