Your Airport May Soon Become a Casino
The company that redefined airport restaurants has a new strategy that’ll make you cringe.
OTG is one of those companies that you’ve probably never heard of but have definitely transacted with dozens of times: they’re responsible for an impressive number of airport concession stands and restaurants, everywhere from New York’s LaGuardia to Chicago’s O’Hare. This week, the company filed for an IPO, putting its intentions for the future of airports under the microscope. What we’ve learned: if OTG has its way, your local airport might soon look a little more like a casino.
Among the documents made public with the IPO filing are indicators that OTG wants to secure a gaming concession from the New York State government, presumably to build gaming into its New York City-based terminals. (The company operates food and beverage at select terminals in Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK.) Most likely, gaming would be added to the tablet systems OTG has been installing at so many of its restaurants—they’re currently used to order food as soon as you sit down or catch up on headlines.
No doubt it would be an easy revenue stream and another way to stay entertained while waiting for your flight to board. The only problem: once tablet-based gambling is green-lit by the government, there’s not much stopping New York’s hubs from becoming as slot machine-riddled as Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. That, and the fact that OTG is likely to push the same programming into as many cities as possible. Travelers, beware.