Southern Brooklyn

Marty Markowitz Pushes Casinos For Coney Island

Casinos haven't yet come to New York, but New York went to casinos...

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is on the move to take advantage of Governor Cuomo’s plan to legalize table gambling in the state.

“His support for a constitutional amendment allowing casino gambling, would bring jobs and revenue to potential locations in New York City, especially Coney Island, which is a natural,” said Markowitz in a press release.

The proposed vision of a revamped economic frontier on Coney Island has some residents and local officials excited, but also well aware of what casinos may bring to the community.

In 2009, Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial rezoning of Coney Island, which slated large areas for condominiums and housing projects, has some residents clamoring for a plan of having a casino in those lots instead.

“It could be the savior for Coney Island as a major destination,” Dick Zigun, director of Coney Island USA, home of the sideshow attractions, told Brooklyn Paper. “I’d like to rezone the rezoning — to take that from condos and turn it into casinos.”

It is unclear how much Bloomberg’s administration supports the building of a casino in Coney Island, as some concerns remain over New York City’s revenue sharing with the proposed plan.

There are some residents and officials that have concerns over bringing a gambling hub to the neighborhood, including Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz.

“While we might be looking at an economic engine that could generate over a billion dollars annually for the state, thousands of new jobs and increased recreational venues for New Yorkers, we are also looking at a substantial increase in problem gambling,” Cymbrowitz said.

Cymbrowitz has demanded that any legalization of gambling also include an expansion of treatment programs for gambling addicts.

Cuomo’s plan must pass the state legislature and then pass the referedum process in order to legalize table gambling in the state. The plan wouldn’t come in front of voters until 2013 at the earliest.

Taylor Reynolds

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  2. There’s been talk of CI becoming a gambling mecca for decades. However, if it ever happens, let’s hope gamblers from the area don’t lose their shirts & skirts at the casinos before they have enough to pay for room and board.

  3. I would only support buildings casinos in Coney Island if a special tax was levied against the casinos. All the money from this tax needs to go into a special fund. And the money in that fund should only be spent on security and as many armed guards or extra NYPD as they can afford. The neighborhood is already bad, imagine adding free drinks and gambling into the mix. Luckily casino security is usually pretty good, mostly to catch cheaters, but they should have to add security on the streets. If the casinos agree to paying for the security then I welcome them. 

  4. Traffic. Who is going to address the transportation issue of the going to and fro?
    Bad enough in the summer, now casino’s?  Not seeing the upside of this.

  5. I would love casinos in Ci….Jobs, the excitement and the opportunity to loose what I have. But aside from all the congestion two words come to mind over and over………NATURAL DISASTER. I have been speaking those words publicly since the whole save C.I. stuff began. How will all those people be evacuated or responded to in a sudden emergency? Keep closing hospitals and cutting F.D. staff works well with this witches brew.

  6. Let’s not stop with just casinos, dispensaries should be allowed as well, just like in california.  Casinos and weed, the perfect boost for the economy.

  7. I forgot, legalize prostitution, just like in Nevada and Connecticut. So now there would be 3 business models to boost the economy, Casinos, weed dispensaries, and legalized prostitution. Frankly it’s about time to tax those underground activities that happen regardless of any laws.

  8. two things: either 1. it stays like Atlantic City or 2. it takes time but it eventually gets knocked down and becomes amazing like it once was a long, long time ago… I’d know I’d like to see the #2 route.

  9. sure a casino would be a great way to introduce even more crime and destruction in the surrounding area. because areas surrounding atlantic city and las vegas are so safe and such wonderful place to live and raise a family. this is so stupid.

  10. The easier we make it for degenerates to gamble away the baby’s milk money, the more likely we’re going to see petty crimes skyrocket when those degenerates have to mug you and I to pay for baby’s formula.  Or the rent.  Or their Apple Store bills.  You get the idea.

    I don’t believe in ‘trickle down’ economics.  It’s a crock.  These casinos will benefit a handful of people.  The rest of us will be left cleaning up the mess.

  11. As a 3rd generation Coney Island baby I support this idea. Ideally, I would like to see the casino on a barge off a pier that leads from the boardwalk. My vision for Coney Island includes a low profile blue sea glass hotel with an upscale sushi restaurant/lounge and a fountain with dolphins. 

    I think it would be wonderful if the casino also had a venue for Vegas style performances. 

  12. let’s hope casinos come to coney island. i’ve known several gamblers in my time, and geographical proximity (or lack of) does not help or hurt them. They would simply travel, find the local bookie, or later, get on the internet. Why should NY lose out to Connecticut and New Jersey. As an added bonus, it’s additional Coney Island development, something I’ve been waiting for since the 70’s.

  13. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!  I love your comment!  I’ve been saying basically the same thing about this walking bottomless pit for ages!

  14. I cannot see the upside of this either.  It might be good for the economy, but definitely not for our neighborhoods.

  15. I live in SB and we had a casino boat on Emmons Avenue/Knapp Street for a couple of years.  Alot of people seemed to enjoy it.  I don’t know why it closed down.

  16. We did have a gambling boat years ago.  I’m surprised that you don’t remember it. I know you are only a couple of years younger than I.  I remember your sister Ilene from high School.  I believe we graduated the same year (1977).

  17. He has a knack for showing up where there is food. Like when he “just happened” to be in Brennan & Carr,when the Man Vs Food show was being filmed. 

  18. It’s an idea that won’t happen. Real casinos need a lot of land and parking.Except for a few empty parcels,Coney is mostly built up with housing.And I don’t think the residents are going to want a casino next door.

  19. Apparently, I’m not who you think I am, I don’t have a sister, and I graduated Dewey in 1973.  I was referring to the gambling boat that was attempted, I don’t know, about 10 years ago. I don’t think it ever opened, and certainly was around for years if it did.

       If there was another gambling boat in the bay, I’m not aware of it, but I’ll take your word for it.

  20. Great idea if they can add a couple of lanes to the Belt, Cropsey and Surf we should be good to go. Oh wait everyone will use a bicycle to get here my bad. How can anyone think of a plan to build something like this and not take into consideration infrastructure. Same thing with the BJs on Shore off of the Belt. I am for development but it has to be done the right way.

  21. Haven’t read any long term planning, so this is just another Markowitz plan with no substance.  Comes up every few years and then someone realizes the futility of the plan.  

  22. Another bad idea from that fabulous Brain Box Marty Markowitz. Many will rue the day when the city, state and nation are super-saturated with Casinos, and like other fads, we’ll be left with aging structures that people won’t visit and move on to the next big thing.  Atlantic City is an example of how newer, shinier casinos drain the life out of the old.  And can anyone tell me just how much disposable income our fellow Bklynites have to spend and support the Racino at the big A plus this proposed Casino in Coney Island and don’t forget the YonkCino up in Yonkers?  What bills, mortgages and credit cards are going unpaid by patrons of all this gaming, even as your read my Comment? Care to wager a guess? 

  23. In a word, NO. Coney Island needs to keep building affordable AND luxury housing and phase out the tenements. There’s no sense of ownership or pride living in a “warehouse of people”; an affordable home instead would be a godsend.

    I do agree that the influx of casino cash would be a boon to the borough, city and state I think there’s better suited areas in Brooklyn, e.g. the old piers that line downtown Brooklyn to Sunset Park. Closer proximity to Manhattan would make it very attractive to tourists and they have the space to grow.

    Biggest problem with Coney Island is there’s a bunch of rich people sitting on vacant lots waiting to see who’s going to give them the biggest payout and couldn’t give a damn about how it affects the community.

    And has anyone ever been to Atlantic City? If you really cared about Coney Island you’d never wish that on her.

  24. As far as transportation, Coney Island is an execellent location because of the numerous subway lines converging there. As far as increasing service if needed or providing extra bus service, the MTA will plead poverty as usual, claiming it cannot afford to provide more service claiming they should be reimbursed by the casinos. Instead they will opt to provide their own private buses from areas they believe they will benefit the most from and the result would be massive traffic congestion. Just look at how bad it was during Marty’s concerts.

    Bloomberg would then revive congestion pricing and push for more bike lanes to solve the problem.

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