Slot machines are popping up in Cape convenience stores
That "ding, ding, ding" known by every casino goer fills the night air here
By Walter Brooks
Amaǐtre d' at Alberto's Ristorante on Main Street, Hyannis was the first person who mentioned the slots to me.
He said that when he went to the Yarmouth dump this weekend he stopped at one of the convenience stores nearby to buy his wife a scratch ticket and heard that all too familiar sound of a slot machine paying off.
When he asked the players they said the machines payed off like any casino machine except you had to ask the store cashier for the money if you won.
The player I spoke with at Way's News in Hyannis last night said the same thing.
The letter from a phone card company attached to the machine's side implied that the pay-off was in telephone credit cards.
But apparently the choice of pay-off is up to the winners.
Afterall, a phone credit card is like any other - it's worth a specific amount of money.
I asked the Way's manager whether these machines were in many other Cape locations, and he said yes, as far as he knew.
"I want one for my house. I'll put a little sign on the road in front and retire in luxury."
The state legislature has been debating recently whether or not toallow hundreds of slots in the Massachusetts race tracks, and the issueis far from settled.
The governor wants to hold out for three regional casino to help balance the state's dismal budget prospects, and unless our local indian tribe can change the federal laws, it appears they they will not be running a casino anytime soon.
It looks like a wily phone card company has aced the pack, another triumph for free enterprise, or a clear violation of law?
The next step?
I contacted a retired Barnstable law officer who lives nearby and he knew nothing of the local slots.
But the maǐtre d' had a better idea. He said "I want one for my house. I'll put a little sign on the road in front and retire in luxury."