Southern Brooklyn

Update: Markowitz Begins Coney Casino Coalition

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File:Marty Markowitz by David Shankbone.jpg
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This week Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced he’d support a casino in Coney Island. Wednesday, Marty Markowitz began a coalition backing gambling in Coney Island, according to the Daily News.

“Back in January when I called for casino gambling, at that moment I was like playing blackjack and asking the dealer to hit on 20, but now the idea of casino gambling is coming up aces,” said Markowitz.

Markowitz believes a casino would bring jobs and revenues to the area, but other politicians haven’t been so quick to back the idea because of moral reasons.

State Senator Dov Hikind is opposed to legalized gambling, citing the impact it may have on people in the community.

“I’m deeply concerned about the repercussions in our community. It shouldn’t just be about raising money,” said Hikind.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has voiced similar concerns, but said he would support a casino as long as money is set aside for compulsive gambling treatment programs.

“I support the principle of casino gambling to provide additional revenues to New York State,” said Cymbrowitz.

In order for a bill to be passed to legalize gambling in the city, the state legislature must pass a constitutional amendment to approve the casinos, and then it must be approved by voters.

Coney Island will also have to compete with other locations such as Willets Point in Queens and the Catskills.

Local State Senator Diane Savino backs the casino, but cautioned that legal gambling in New York City is still a long way from becoming a reality.

“The earliest gambling could come to the boardwalk would be Januray, 2014..I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves.”

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