Saturday, April 09, 2005

Playing the Odds - Casino Car Crash Roulette

So imagine you are about to build 5 casinos in the Catskills. You're probably pretty excited since you are going to be really rich. Rich. Rich. Rich. And that is exciting. So when you put together a study to see what sort of environmental impact the 5 casinos will have on the communities they are built in it is understandable that all those thoughts of immense richness might cloud your judgement. And so when you have your traffic impact study done you might accidentally only include 3 casinos in that study. Sure there will be more traffic coming in the area (with all those people coming to make you rich, rich, rich!) but with these three casinos it will be manageable. Ok. Next question. You say there are going to be 5 casinos but I did my study with only 3? Interesting fact...did I tell you i'm going to be rich, rich, rich! You say there will be traffic jams everywhere....did I tell you about the rooftop helicopter landing pad I'm planning on my casino? Traffic won't be a problem for me!

Kind of hard to imagine that scenario. But it is exactly what happened. I'll leave you with a quote from Erich Arcement in his testimony to the New York State Assembly.

"Our review of these environmental impact studies -- which consider the effects of only three casinos, not five-- has found there are numerous significant issues that would unduly compromise regional safety and mobility, in some cases bringing traffic to a standstill and increasing the probability of car crashes. Further, these studies underreported traffic volumes and contain errors and ommissions. "

Got to love those gamblers. They love that probability. So what's a few more car crashes if they are going to be RICH!

PS. If they build these 5 casinos you'll have to get use to saying things like. "If you want to go to NYC, you better go at 6 AM on a Wednesday if you want to avoid the casino traffic....damn...don't you miss Amtrak?"