Over 10,000 Brooklyn Residents Sign Petition to Support Coney Island Casino

  • “The Coney” is one of 11 pitches for three downstate casino licenses
  • Proposals need sufficient support from locals to be considered
  • The Coney Island casino would create as many as 4,000 permanent jobs
  • Community Board 13 opposes a casino coming to the region
Coney Island Wonder Wheel
More than 10,000 Brooklyn residents have signed a petition in favor of a casino coming to Coney Island. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The importance of gaining support from locals

Casinos are coming to downstate New York in the near future and one of the proposed projects is getting decent support from locals. Over 10,000 Brooklyn residents have signed a petition to support a prospective casino on Coney Island. “The Coney” is one of 11 pitches that are vying for three licenses and is the only one that lies in the borough of Brooklyn.

a casino would bring economic growth and new jobs to the region

The petition explains that a casino would bring economic growth and new jobs to the region. It mentions that local leaders and representatives are in favor of the project that would serve a community that has been “short-changed” by a lack of year-round economic opportunities.

It is important that developers get support from locals if their bids are to be successful. All applicants need to get the green light from a Community Advisory Committee before New York’s Gaming Facility Location Board will even consider a proposal.

Petition support in Brooklyn

The group behind the Coney Island project includes the Chickasaw Nation, Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, and Legends Hospitality. The New York Yankees co-own Legends Hospitality.

Coney Island is a peninsular neighborhood in Brooklyn that was a popular seaside resort for many years, offering an abundance of attractions, including amusement parks.

Former New York City (NYC) Council member Robert Cornegy is working as a consultant for this group and believes that it already has a huge amount of local support. He has no plans to stop reaching out to locals, saying: “We’re going to keep going to meetings, talking to people and telling everyone about the benefits The Coney would bring to help revitalize Coney Island.”

Such a project would generate 4,000 permanent hospitality and gaming jobs, with hiring preference going to locals. The complex would be developed on the historic boardwalk and beach in Brooklyn.

Opposition from certain circles

A number of the other downstate casino proposals are having trouble getting sufficient support from locals. The most notable opposition is in Nassau County where Las Vegas Sands is looking to build a property.

Existing gambling facilities at racetracks in Queens and Yonkers are favorites to get two of the three licenses. This would allow them to start offering table games in addition to the slot machines that are already available.

Other projects in the line of fire include a Times Square casino involving Caesars Entertainment and Jay-Z, as well as a joint venture in Queens between Hard Rock and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen.

Things aren’t completely rosy in Coney Island either. Community Board 13, an advisory organization that largely deals with land zoning and usage, opposes a casino coming to the region as it believes it would have negative knock-on effects like higher levels of traffic and crime. People also have concerns over the group behind the project providing funding for children’s sports.

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