I made a pilgrimage down to the new Philadelphia Racetrack and Casino about a week ago, enticed by two coupons in the local newspaper worth $25 each in slot play bucks. So along with my Dad,who needed an evening out, we got in the car and made the thirty minute drive down to the facility that was promised to save horse racing in Pennsylvania.
The first thing a horse player would notice about the new racino is that the banner over the front door declaring this to be the home of Smarty Jones has been removed and with it any resemblance that Philadelphia Park used to be a racetrack. Don’t get me wrong this is not a bad thing; Philadelphia Park was one of those utilitarian structures that from the outside looked more like an ugly corrugated metal box that could be mistaken for an airplane hanger if you did not look too closely.
I don’t lament what they have done with the building and in truth as racinos go I like Philly Park much better than Gulfstream Park. Even though the horse players have been herded into some small places, it’s only a few days a year when crowding becomes an issue. I rarely ever see more than 1500 people there even on a Saturday and it’s still more comfortable than Gulfstream Park for the average horse player.
At the player rewards desk I redeemed the coupons gave Dad his slot voucher and went off to the cashier to cash in my voucher, with my free money in hand I headed up to the fifth floor where the simulcasting is and played the ponies with my free slot money. I lost about ten bucks and used the balance to buy beer and hot dogs for the Dad and me after he had managed to lose his twenty five free slot bucks at the slots (big surprise).
Yes, a free night out for this average horse player and all at the slot players’ expense. To top my evening off, walking through the casino I found $100 on the floor that had fallen out of someone’s pocket. All in all a profitable evening, now every day at work I scour the local paper for those free coupons, Dad can always use an evening out.