Few things in life are spectacular enough to justify waiting three long, chilly hours in a line of ravenous gamblers, so it’s a good thing the opening of NYC’s very own “racino”, the Resorts World electronic gaming temple at the Queens Aqueduct Racetrack was a sheer and utter success for everyone! Early Friday afternoon, thousands of folks, some coming from great distances (but mainly from Brooklyn and Queens) showed a numbing urge love for one-armed bandits as they waited in the seemingly never-ending queue with high spirits and triple cherries in their eyes.

Things got a little tense as crowds reached the front entrance—security guards were only permitting moderately-sized groups of people inside at a time—and the shoving, bellowing devotees had simply waited long enough to try their luck on “many engaging slots” and sample cuisine at the Aqueduct Buffet. But once inside, the collective thrill was restored (phew!) as enterprising patrons found solace in the many, lucrative apparatuses located throughout. When asked about his attendance at the opening, one local Queens man proudly (and rather ambiguously) exclaimed, “I just came to get lucky!”

Although other locals, such as Vidyanand Singh, were a bit more humble. “Even though we lost, we had a good time,” he explained, adding, “I’m impressed by the machines and the service is pretty good, too. I think it will benefit the neighborhood by bringing in a lot of people.” Also present was the former Park Avenue doorman-turned-multimillionaire Richie Randazzo who was with fellow Gravesend Brooklynite, Paul Cappello. Randazzo enthusiastically offered, “We just LOVE to gamble!" It’s nice to see that some people don’t stray from their passions once fame and money come into the picture.

Despite the controversy surrounding the racino, the masses flocked to the Aqueduct Racetrack for its new and exciting addition. Between the crazy entry lines and high levels of gambling-induced euphoria, it was an understandably exhausting day. Throw in a spa and a P.F. Chang's and Albany will be on its way to beefing up the budget in no time!