ATLANTIC CITY, NJ– Hoping to cash in on the popularity of their roulette tables, Atlantic City casinos are now featuring Russian Roulette, the game in which players put only one bullet in a gun’s chamber, press the gun to their heads, spin the cylinder, and pull the trigger. “It’s a great game,” said Frank Caufield, owner of Caesars Atlantic City. “It’s particularly exciting when a player is on a winning streak and you see a crowd of people gathered at the table, cheering him on.”
Not everyone agrees. Rose Bergen was playing the slot machines on Sunday when a piece of skull fragment ended up in her drink. “It was disgusting,” said the seventy-two-year-old retiree. “I have no problem with people playing Russian Roulette in the casino, but they should have a designated room for it. It’s unsanitary.” Tim Trellins is also opposed to the game, calling it “barbaric.” “The first time I heard a gunshot at the casino was when I was at the craps table, which is appropriate considering that I almost shit my pants,” he said.
Atlantic City mayor Lorenzo Langford defended the game, saying, “Look, it’s not for everybody. Personally, I find it a bit violent for my tastes. But a lot of people love it, and considering everything that the people of South Jersey have been through lately with Hurricane Sandy, it’s important that they have some sort of outlet.” But some Casino owners feel that suicide is not the proper “outlet.” George Halpern is the owner of Revel, an Atlantic City casino that has banned the game. “From a business perspective, it makes no sense,” said Halpern. “If you want patrons to come in and spend lots of money, that would be impossible after they’ve killed themselves.”
When he was asked to respond to Halpern’s comments, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “I understand and respect Mr. Halpern’s opinion, but during a time of crisis we should put people before profits. If you lost everything in Hurricane Sandy, you might be inclined to want to play some Russian Roulette.” He then added, “After all, there are some things in life that are more important than money. Sometimes, you have to put the needs of your community first and try to give a little back.”