The ads which were heard on Westchester's WFAS radio were dismissive of the concept of the racino. Gamblers were urged to go to a "real" casino and not a "racino". The actor in the spot touted Mohegan's real "slots" while mocking Empire City's "video lottery terminals" as not real action. The actors went on to tout Mohegan's full service casino featuring a slew of table games and live poker. The heart of the advertisement was that anyone with a Empire City players club card would receive $100 in slot action if they signed up for a new Mohegan players club card. It looks like Mohegan means business and is looking to re-claim some of it's lost New York business. Mohegan CEO Mitchell Etess admits to poaching Empire City's market
“We realize that Empire City is driving lots of revenue, and there’s no doubt they have created new gamers,” Etess said. “We created this promotion to give them incentive for people who may have begun to enjoy Empire City and are not customers of Mohegan Sun to give them an incentive to drive up and see our property. We’re confident once they get up here they would be inclined to visit us again.”
In an earlier piece in the local press titled "Mohegan sees profits nosedive" Etess admitted that Empire City was affecting Mohegan revenue while being dismissive of the delayed Aqueduct project:
Etess also said the Empire City casino in Yonkers, N. Y., had an impact on revenues.
But Mohegan Sun is planning an aggressive marketing campaign to go after Empire City players card holders. There has been no word yet on the status of the Aqueduct casino project in New York, which Mohegan Sun hopes to operate, but Etess downplayed the impact should the contract go to another operator.
“There is already convenience gaming in Yonkers,” he said, so Empire City would feel the impact of Aqueduct more than Mohegan Sun.
With New York racino operations having a drastic effect on Indian Casino operations in Connecticut would it be hard to imagine that casino interests in Connecticut and New Jersey are the primary forces blocking the Aqueduct racino? The Aqueduct racino is well into it's ninth calender of delays. On it's own nine years of delays are noteworthy, but the manner of hearings, false NYRA scandals and multiple selection processes have rendered the situation a complete farce. It is too bad the local investigative journalists have dropped the ball on this topic. Who are the fixers blocking the Aqueduct construction? How much is being kicked back to whom to keep this project on hold? It seems that blocking the Aqueduct racino has been a cash cow for the local politicians behind the scenes; a golden goose that they have been very reluctant to surrender. Thus the farce continues as casino business nosedives elsewhere.