Mayor Bloomberg doesn't think bringing casinos to Coney Island is a good idea

Mayor Bloomberg and Borough President Markowitz disagree on casino gambling

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Mayor Bloomberg wants to turn Coney Island into a glitzy, year-round tourist destination replete with shops, shows and restaurants, but he says he’s unwilling to gamble on something that could bring all three to the People’s Playground in one shot — casinos.

Bloomberg said he wouldn’t want to see gambling emporiums open on the Boardwalk — an area the city is slowly rebuilding by bringing in new eateries and attractions — on Monday, calling money games involving cards, dice, and one-armed bandits a “regressive tax plan.”

“Gambling has not been shown to help the neighborhoods where they’re built,” Bloomberg said. “It’s just a way to separate people from their money.”

But his comments were quickly trumped by Borough President Markowitz, who has been pushing for casino gambling in Coney Island since Gov. Cuomo announced his plans to legalize table gaming in the state.

Albany legislators currently say they are open to having casinos in Coney Island or Willets Point, Queens — and Markowitz is already pushing state lawmakers to bring gaming to the amusement district.

“I want to build a consensus that Coney Island is a sure bet,” Markowitz said. “People are going to gamble. It’s entertainment, it’s relaxing and we are losing all of that revenue to New Jersey. The most beneficial urban casinos are those that are part of a broader entertainment experience, and Coney Island provides it all.”

If casinos open in Coney, it wouldn’t be the first time it was a gambling hub.

Starting in 1860, Gravesend and Brighton Beach were gambling havens, run by the notorious John McKane, Brooklyn’s version of Nucky Thompson from “Boardwalk Empire.”

That party came to a halt when gambling was outlawed in 1910, but in the late 1970s, the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce backed a proposal to develop casinos near the Boardwalk, even going as far as putting up a banner by the Belt Parkway reading, “Welcome To Coney Island, the Perfect Resort for Casino Gambling.”

—with Danielle Furfaro

Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Tom from Park Slope says:
I HATE agreeing with Bloomberg, but on this he's right. It hurts the people who live near it. Too bad he didn't have that little brainstorm before inflicting an arena on Brooklyn!
Aug. 22, 2012, 1:15 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
I hate when Bloomberg is right, but on this issue, he is right. Gambling casinos are morally and ethically wrong, economically debilitating, fraught with corruption, and a magnet for crime. Coney Island needs economic development that the whole community will benefit from, not another nail in the coffin.
Aug. 22, 2012, 1:16 pm
Avi from Madison says:
Bloomberg is 100% correct. Casino's will not help in the development of the neighborhood. "regressive tax plan" is exactly right. Look at the surrounding neighborhoods in atlantic city!
Aug. 22, 2012, 2:59 pm
Pietro from Windsor Terrace says:

Marty Markowitz is for every bad idea that comes up.
Coney Island as it is actually quite a wholesome
family place-for people of all classes.
I don't want all the evils that come with gambling
screwing up our Coney.
Also, hasn't this guy been Borough President long enough?
Aug. 22, 2012, 7:29 pm
Glenn from Brighton Beach says:
Markowitz destroyed the free concerts in the park in our neighborhood by making it into his own political platform, slowly increasing the numbers of peple involved by bringing in his corporate political cronies to promote their wares, ultimately the neighborhood, having enough, sucessfully pushed what was a great little concert venue/series out of the neighborhood and into an empty lot in Coney. Had he had his way, we would have lost that park area to a year-round concert hall. Now he is trying to make more 'pocket change' by allowing the trash that destroyed Atlantic City into our backyard, thereby adding to his political clout. Hey Marty, how's about a little AC in Windsor Terrace? yes, it's time for Marty to GO!! Always remember, the word "Politics" is derived from two words: Poly=MANY and Tics=JERKS or LITTLE ANNOYING, BLOOD-SUCKING INSECTS. Do the math...
Aug. 22, 2012, 8:11 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Atlantic City and Las Vegas couldn't be more different, except for the fact that both are centers of casino gambling. The one other thing they have in common: some of the country's highest rates of unemployment and mortgage foreclosures. 'Nuff said -- keep casinos out of Coney Island, and all of New York.
Aug. 23, 2012, 12:18 pm
Omar from Bklyn Hts. says:
Any form of gaming has its downside. However with proper planning and forsight it can be done right. I site gaming in Connecticut as an example. I know many would disagree with me but someone like D.Trump could have the right idea. A Casino/Resort in the middle on N.Y. Harbor on Governor Island. Its isolated but controlable and reachable.
Aug. 23, 2012, 5:07 pm
bkdude says:
yesss... he is right :)
Aug. 23, 2012, 9:31 pm
Pietro says:

The idea of putting gambling on Governor's Island
is intriguing...
Aug. 24, 2012, 12:14 pm
Edith from South Ozone Park says:
Gambling casinos are a mistake. In the area I live there was the Mafia. John Gotti had his home over in Howard Beach, but his headquarters on 101 av next to the abandoned trestel. Aside from that and the free picknick firewoks he threw once a year, the mob left us alone. When Gotti went to prison the mob left our neighborhood for good
And then they announced that casino opening at Aqueduct. Almost immediately the mob was back. This time they waked into the shop my husband owned and let him know he was now working for them. They don't just get a piece of the casino profits, but the profits from every store next to the casion. Reporting this to the police wont help becaus they are ignoring it. Either the mob has the local precinct in their pocket, or someone at city hall has asked them to back off the mob. Whenever one of the inforcers makes his rounds any patrol car on the block suddenly drives away. They got mob men all over that casino. You did not see any mob men take interest in the flea market?
Aug. 26, 2012, 1:42 pm
mike from coney island says:
it is a very bad idea to open casino
Nov. 8, 2012, 4:10 pm

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