This story from Vivian Yee seems just horrible to me. First the background:
Pronto Lotto’s real business takes place in the carpeted, hushed area where its most devoted customers watch video screens from a scattering of tall silver tables, hour after hour, day after day.
The players — mostly men, about a dozen at any given time — come on their lunch breaks or after work to study the screens, which are programmed with the Quick Draw lottery game, and flash a new set of winning numbers every four minutes. They have helped make Pronto Lotto the top Quick Draw vendor in the state, selling $3.3 million worth of tickets last year, more than $1 million more than the second busiest location, a World Books shop in Penn Station.
Some stay for just a few minutes. Others play for the length of a workday, repeatedly traversing the few yards between their seats and the cash register as they hand the next wager to a clerk with a dollar bill or two, and return to wait.
“It’s like my job, 24 hours,” Pablo Martinez, 42, joked to an employee on a recent afternoon, flicking yet another losing ticket into a trash can. He had been there since 10 a.m., and did not leave until dinnertime.
Then comes the kicker…