Coney Island Board Against Potential Casino Project
Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, Chicaso Nation and Legend Hospitals are preparing to bid for Coney Island’s casino, but their plans have met with community opposition. Recently, Community Board 13, one of New York City’s 59 community boards, declared its opposition to having a $3 billion casino resort in an area already struggling with traffic jams.
New York began a process earlier this year in which companies submitted casino bids for three licenses available in the Downstate area. Currently, the process is led by the Game Location Facilities Committee and will have a say in the winning offer before a final vote is held at the New York State Games Committee.
Lucy Mujica Diaz, chairman of CB13, said: “The traffic in the neighborhood has been pretty boring and the board doesn’t want to make it any worse. She said communities will not be able to withstand the heavy burdens and problems casinos will cause. She urged local elected officials to address the neighborhood’s current problems and not add issues such as casinos.
The CB13 resolution also recommended that the board hear opinions from the community and oppose casino projects in the region, while calling officials to inform the New York State Gaming Board of its decision. The resolution was passed by a vote of 23 to 8. It should be explained that the position of the Board is not legally relevant and that potential projects cannot be discontinued alone.
In response, casino developers said the CB13 resolution was premature. Officials at the game consortium said they had surveyed Coney Islanders and had already collected more than 3,300 signatures in favor of the project. It believes it will bring jobs year-round, create economic growth, improve public safety, and revitalize communities.
In addition, the consortium argued in a statement that any judgment on the project was premature before details and community interests were fully disclosed. We also believe that such assumptions lead to the very same problems that communities are currently lamenting, relating to unemployment, infrastructure and public safety.
But Thor Equity, Saratoga Casino Holdings, Chicaso Nation and Legend Hospitality must fight competition to be licensed. One of the competitors is Las Vegas Sands, which expressed interest in developing a multibillion-dollar hospitality and entertainment project on Long Island, New York, in January.
Soloviev Group is one of the interested parties, and the company wants to host a casino venue in Manhattan, New York. In February 2023, the company strengthened its bid by announcing it had selected Mohigan Gaming, a leading land operator. Named Freedom Plaza, the site will feature a huge green area, a luxury entertainment venue, a Ferris wheel, more than 1,000 Premier hotels, and two residential towers.
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