darkoz
darkoz
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February 28th, 2018 at 7:17:10 PM permalink
This is the first part of a 3-part expose
Part 1: an in-depth review of the new Resorts World Casino in Upstate NY Catskills
Part 2: an in-depth review of the established small racino located 10 minutes away named Monticello Casino
Part 3: an in-depth look at what I believe constitutes a stock swindle and attempt to possibly defraud the State of NY of millions of dollars being perpetrated by the owners and operaters of Resorts World Catskills and the Monticello Casino.

Obviously the last part posits some serious accusations. This final part will be posted some time in April as I wish to collect some additional evidence to support my claims. Nonetheless I have a significant amount already or I would not be posting the above statements.

Resorts World Catskills had its soft opening on Feb. 8 2018. As of this writing it is only open for 3 weeks. It is a one Billion dollar complex in the Catskills region of NYS.

From the NYS thruway that passes by the casino, it is well hidden so anyone unaware there is a casino nearby would not even be aware of its existence. You drive from Exit 106 onto wooded roads that go deep into the Catskills mountains. The entrance to these roads is already casino property as evidenced by the large sign that adorns the entrance to the roadway and the name of the road (you know you are a powerful corporate entity when they change the name of the road to your company}.

Much of this is forested so there is plenty of opportunity for expansion. This is a means Disney used in Florida for park expansion. Knock down trees in any given area and build a new installation.

As you come into view of the casino it rises into the sky making one wonder just how it was hidden from view so well. The casino has an 18 (26) story hotel (more on that later) which reminds me very much of the exterior of Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. In fact, the interior reminds me of Mohegan Sun as well albeit with Native American motif replaced by an Asian one. There are china balls hanging from ceilings and fancy Asian garden flowers carved on the walls.

They have a large indoor garage in addition to exterior self parking. There are no markings for sections where you park. Instead, each and every parking spot is numbered in paint on the ground in front. Memorize your number and floor level before heading to the parking garage elevator.

The casino button in the elevator is on top of the parking level buttons. It seems weird until you begin rising. The casino level is higher than the parking structure!

As soon as you leave the elevator the card member sign-up is right there. Some casinos like to make you walk through the entire gaming area to get to sign up. Not this one. As expected of a brand-new casino, there were long lines for member sign-up as pretty much everyone is a new member. However, there were no less than eight people handling sign-ups when I went (Sunday afternoon) and the long line moved very brusquely. No complaints there.

The member rules are printed in a pamphlet as usual. They must be very scared of people using other peoples players cards.
From the brochure:
Rule #8: The named cardholder can only use the card, and redemption requires presentation of valid photo identification and/or use of a player selected PIN.
Rule #9: Points can be acculumated on a card only by the member to whom Resorts World Catskills issued the card and whose name appears on the card.
Rule #10: Each member is strictly prohibited from authorizing or allowing any person to accumulate points in any manner on a card(s) issued to that member.
Rule #11: Points accumulated as a result of unauthorized use of a member card are not valid and cannot be redeemed, including by the member who was issued the card.

Of course, these are unwritten rules of most casinos. I have not seen them so strenuously noted elsewhere. Perhaps what is most telling, of course, is what is not included in this list. No mention of subjecting use of another persons players card to civil and criminal liabilities. Hmm, methinks a casino so adamant against this activity would do anything within its power to stop it. Guess what? Its legal to do! The ONLY thing they can do is refuse to honor points and complimentary offers as specified in the brochure.

Once signing up you can go to a kiosk to receive a chance to win new member freeplay Most people I saw won $5. You spun a virtual wheel which landed on your amount.

The gaming floor is quite huge and one floor. It is not as large as the MGM Grand but it has quite a generous square footage for East Coast casinos. Slot machines dominate as expected. Almost every machine is of the new horizontal curved screen variety (like viewing a Cinemascope movie turned on its side). You know these games which predominately have Asian symbols and colorful red, blue or green dragons flying across blowing fire which turn into wilds or coins which fly up into cups being collected by characters that shake the pot and not much of anything else. The lights on these machines are set super-bright -- enough to light up Broadway it seems.

These are new games I have not seen before, on the East Coast at least. Even recognizable games were newer updated versions.

Players cards accumulate points at a set amount of $15 per point. For every 200 points you receive $10 in same-day free-play. So approximately $3000 coin-in for ten dollars comped play. The system is easy enough. Most but not all the machines give you real-time point accrual. So you see the points rising as you play without having to remove your card and re-insert it for an update. (some casinos in Atlantic City even force you to go to a kiosk to view your points - Ac wake up and join the modern age if you want to keep customers).

Downloading free-play was quick and easy. You can download in one swoop the entire amount of your offers. No need to worry about leaving your freeplay behind or being saddled playing a lousy game. Once you remove your players card, the freeplay amount left on the machine automatically reloads into your account. (Conversely in AC once you download your freeplay you have to play it only on that machine and leaving the game abandons your freeplay credits -- Ac wake up and join the modern age if you want to keep customers).

They also had a number of GameKings with many poker variants including Ultimate X. These machines accrued points at a rate of $30 per point. Single and Double Deck video BlackJack was also on hand (not sure what the player advantage is to one deck vs two -- a better chance at 6-card charlies with double deck? I am pretty certain card counting is not feasible on these games.) Video BJ also had surrender, double down on 10 or 11 and split options (something some AC casinos are missing as options on their video blackjack -- Ac wake up and join the modern age if you want to keep customers.)

There are two sections for live table games -- the Asian section and the, um, other one. I suppose we can call it the non-Asian section. I saw no official name for it.

The Asian section has Baccarat, Midi-Bac and I think I saw Mini-Bac. Also Pai Gow Tiles. Minimums ranged from $25 to $100. The Asian pit is located on the far end of the casino from the parking lot entrance.

The only shared table game with the two pits is Blackjack. The non-Asian pit had $50 minimums while the Asian pit had only $25. I assumed they might be catering to their Asian clientele with the lower minimums (Genting which owns Resorts World is a Malaysian company and caters heavily to that market. Already busloads of Asians come from NYC Chinatown and Flushing (a predominantly Asian neighborhood). $15 gets you a round-trip ticket. Conversely, from Port Authority you can catch the non-Asian Short-line bus for $62 round-trip and that doesn't even take you to the casino. Just to the Monticello bus terminal where you have to catch a cab.

After I left it occurred to me the lower limits of the Asian pit Blackjack might be due to different rules. It was too late to check.

The non-Asian pit is right at the gaming floor entrance near the garage entry elevators. I saw eight tables each for Blackjack, Roulette, Craps and Carny games. Approximately half were open but full (this on the third sunday of their operations). Here the table limits were all consistent. Carny games had $15 minimums, (I saw 3-card Poker and Caribbean Stud definitely) $25 minimums for Roulette and Craps and the aforementioned $50 minimums for Blackjack.

Blackjack appeared to be 6-deck hand-shuffled from a shoe.

Craps had no max odds posted so I had to ask. I was told 3-4-5x odds. Field bet paid double on both 2 and 12. They had Hops bets but no fire bets.

Max bets at most table games were set at $5000 but Roulette was $300. That seemed extremely low. After I left, it occurred to me they meant $300 straight up on the number however the formatting which matched the other table games didn't appear that way. I can't imagine a casino refusing more than $300 on red or black but perhaps they are scared of Martingales (a subject of contention on here in another thread). It should be pointed out I have seen $300 max bets on E-roulette and video roulette so perhaps they are scared.

Besides the gaming there is a planned water park. A hostess on the gaming floor told me that would not open until March of 2019!!! This Spring was also coming a golf course and a few other amenities not ready yet.

This same hostess informed me the hotel was open for business but only eleven floors of the hotel were available for rental. The rest were still under construction. The conversation went like this:
Me: "Well, eleven out of eighteen floors open isn't so bad."
Her: "No, we have 26 floors."
Me: "Oh, I thought the hotel was only 18 floors high."
Her: "No, its definitely 26."

I was a bit surprised as all the literature including huge highway billboards I have seen have touted this as an 18-story hotel. I checked online and 18 floors is the written amount. I know casino employees often don't know everything about their jobs but this seemed a bit excessive.

In a few weeks I will follow-up with part two of this expose. A review of the Monticello Racino located literally ten minutes away and two exits away (exits 104 versus 106)
Last edited by: darkoz on Mar 1, 2018
BleedingChipsSlowly
BleedingChipsSlowly
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March 1st, 2018 at 1:38:30 AM permalink
Nice report, thanks! The name “Resorts World Catskills” will help with locating the place, and that’s the name used on the web site. The casino is a shorter haul and a cheaper bus ticket from Flushing compared to Mohegan Sun. They are definitely poaching from the Mohegan Sun market share. You don’t find Pai Gow tiles most places.
“You don’t bring a bone saw to a negotiation.” - Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Mission146
Mission146
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March 1st, 2018 at 6:28:32 AM permalink
Darkoz,

Nice write-up! I haven't been there, so I don't really have much to add. Actually, I don't have anything to add to the actual review, just a few comments about stuff that was in it.

Quote: darkoz



The entrance to these roads is already casino property as evidenced by the large sign that adorns the entrance to the roadway and the name of the road (you know you are a powerful corporate entity when they change the name of the road to your company}.



Did the roadway even exist before they came in? Even if so, I would argue this statement is hardly true. They do this sort of thing for hotels and stuff all of the time. The reason is that it is technically a separate road and it is a place that physically receives mail, so the road has to be called something. I've also seen this with malls, grocery stores and some other types of businesses where they are on their own isolated road. It doesn't sound like they're letting them name/rename a Federal highway, here.

Quote:

Of course, these are unwritten rules of most casinos. I have not seen them so strenuously noted elsewhere. Perhaps what is most telling, of course, is what is not included in this list. No mention of subjecting use of another persons players card to civil and criminal liabilities. Hmm, methinks a casino so adamant against this activity would do anything within its power to stop it. Guess what? Its legal to do! The ONLY thing they can do is refuse to honor points and complimentary offers as specified in the brochure.



Are they? I agree that the different possible violations, for lack of a better term, are usually not spelled out so clearly, but it seems like the casino often says that the cards are issued to the player and are to only be used by the player to whom they are issued, or some other such verbiage.

Quote:

Most but not all the machines give you real-time point accrual. So you see the points rising as you play without having to remove your card and re-insert it for an update. (some casinos in Atlantic City even force you to go to a kiosk to view your points - Ac wake up and join the modern age if you want to keep customers).



I would agree with that one, especially for slot players who probably don't even pay attention to how much coin they are putting in, even if they knew the conversion rate to begin with.

Quote:

Downloading free-play was quick and easy. You can download in one swoop the entire amount of your offers. No need to worry about leaving your freeplay behind or being saddled playing a lousy game. Once you remove your players card, the freeplay amount left on the machine automatically reloads into your account. (Conversely in AC once you download your freeplay you have to play it only on that machine and leaving the game abandons your freeplay credits -- Ac wake up and join the modern age if you want to keep customers).



I think that's a little bit nit-picky. In AC, or anywhere else where Free Play doesn't, "Go with you," you could always just not load the full amount of your FP if you don't think you're going to use it all on that machine. There are casinos in my area that work both ways and I really don't have much of a preference on this matter. If I think I might have to take a leak in the near future, or something, I just wouldn't download my full amount.

Quote:

Single and Double Deck video BlackJack was also on hand (not sure what the player advantage is to one deck vs two -- a better chance at 6-card charlies with double deck? I am pretty certain card counting is not feasible on these games.) Video BJ also had surrender, double down on 10 or 11 and split options (something some AC casinos are missing as options on their video blackjack -- Ac wake up and join the modern age if you want to keep customers.)



One deck is the superior game in all cases. One of the main reasons why is because of deck-composition strategy that comes by way of making decisions based on effect-of-removal.

I also disagree with your AC point on this one. Why should they want to offer better Video Blackjack? I know why SOME people may wish to play Video Blackjack, but are there really that many people attracted to the game such that they would rather go to Catskills than AC because the VBJ is a few tenths of a percent better?

Quote:

Craps had no max odds posted so I had to ask. I was told 3-4-5x odds. Field bet paid double on both 2 and 12. They had Hops bets but no fire bets.



Tell them to wake up and join AC with higher odds and a Triple on one of those, to be objective.
Vultures can't be choosers.
TumblingBones
TumblingBones
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March 1st, 2018 at 7:07:27 PM permalink
$25 min for craps seems a bit high. I'm wondering if that's going to last.
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
ECoaster
ECoaster
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March 1st, 2018 at 7:33:11 PM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

$25 min for craps seems a bit high. I'm wondering if that's going to last.



$15 for carny games is high (even on a weekend) compared to AC and PA as well.
ontariodealer
ontariodealer
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March 1st, 2018 at 7:59:16 PM permalink
tip of the hat to darkoz.....very informative.
get second you pig
TumblingBones
TumblingBones
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March 2nd, 2018 at 6:41:32 AM permalink
Quote: ontariodealer

tip of the hat to darkoz.....very informative.


I'll second that. Their web site is worthless.
BTW, I didn't see any mention of a poker room or sport bet in the scouting report. Did you notice if these are available?
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
bj4fun
bj4fun
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March 2nd, 2018 at 11:22:40 AM permalink
Thanks Darkoz - great report. I hope the $50 BJ limits come down that's a bit rich for my liking. I'm close enough for a day trip so perhaps during the week the limits are lower.

I hope to be up there sometime between the 9th and 14th. Local reports are saying the poker room will open in March. If the supreme court allows sports betting they are prepared to start immediately.
darkoz
darkoz
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March 17th, 2018 at 2:21:19 PM permalink
Thanks to all those who posted their support for this review/expose

Just put up part 2 here: https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling-outside-vegas/eastern-us/30457-expose-pt-2-monticello-racino-review/
BedWetterBetter
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May 10th, 2018 at 6:28:53 PM permalink
Quote: ECoaster

$15 for carny games is high (even on a weekend) compared to AC and PA as well.




Sands Bethlehem does the same on weekends, $20 minimums in the day and $25 - $50 minimums by the evening time for Blackjack. Cesars AC and Borgata also have mostly $25 BJ table games on weekends and a few $15 games scattered about closer to the Noodle Bar, some are 6:5 BJ. Carny games are usually $10 and $15 depending on a holiday rush or concert attendance.

Mount Airy in the Poconos is the only reasonable Casino with $15 table games all day, everyday and $10 for Carny games, sometimes even $5 table games during the morning and afternoon. But it's mostly filled with Senior citizens and drunken locals from the Boondocks.

Whenever a Casino is the "new kid in town" they gouge the locals and tourists on table games and limit the amount of tables open to heighten the sense of urgency. I expect this trend to continue at RW Catskills for at least another year.

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