Friday, August 14, 2009

From The Files of: OMG

Everyone has seen these:

In fact, I mocked those as "claw-for-crap" machines in a post in December about an outing with my niece, Allyson, on Long Island. Here she is with said machine:

Well, last night at the Las Vegas Club Hotel-Casino, I discovered this:

Yes, people! It is as it appears. You give them $2 and you try for your very own 1-1.5-lb lobster! If you catch it, Tinoco's Kitchen at the Las Vegas Club will prepare it for you as you like it. Sides and drinks are extra.

Here's a closer look:

What a concept, right? I took a little video of Enrique Tinoco, the owner, showing me how it works. It's only 30 seconds and here it is:

Tinoco says people catch 4-5 a day. They do seem easier to get a grip on than some stuffed animal, huh?

As it happens, Las Vegas is somehow NOT on the forefront of this gambling cruelty-to-animals concept. It's been around in the lobster-rich regions of the northeast for as far back as 2007 and evidently originated in Japan. Not surprising, animal-rights advocates are appalled, as seen by this piece from South Florida in May.

Meanwhile, here's some dude explaining how this is actually a path to liberation for some lobsters:

And the blogger at SeriousEats.Com last year wrote it up, too. One of his commenters responded: "We have this machine at a bar down the street from us. A couple of the puny lobsters have money rubberbanded to their claw to entice someone to go after them."

If they tried that in Vegas, would they need to get it approved by the Gaming Control Board first?


Anonymous said...

Not a shell fish eater, but that's pretty cool. I bet the Peta people want to smash it.


Anonymous said...

The Maine lobster machine looks more humane. For one thing, they release the lobsters that aren't caught back to the ocean. Easy to do in Maine. What happens to lobsters in other parts of the country that aren't caught? The Maine machine is also deeper and the fact there are fewer lobsters makes it harder to catch. The Vegas machine is shallower, smaller, and has more lobsters packed together, also less humane. That makes it easier to catch the lobsters or they wouldn't be catching 4 or 5 a day. That said I'm sure restaurants might not keep their live lobsters in tanks that are any cleaner or more humane than the lobster machines. If the machine weren't there, maybe people wouldn't think of eating live lobsters. Lobster cooked alive is never humane. I could never eat one.

LinFromNJ said...

they has one of these machines at the Gold Strike out toward Primm close to 10 years ago.

GregoryZephyr said...

And this machine is worse than dangling a sharp hook on a line with a worm on it in front of a fish in his native environment then yanking said fish up out of it's habitat by the hook?