Markowitz In Favor Of Push For Coney Island Casino

Mayor Bloomberg Wary, But Understands Needs For New Revenues

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If Gov. Andrew Cuomo succeeds in making table gambling legal in New York, where do you think casinos will crop up?

Some are betting on Coney Island, reports CBS 2’s Don Dahler.

Amusement rides, cotton candy and gambling? Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz says why not?

“I think Coney Island would be the perfect location. It is by the seashore. The amenities are there. It would really be a shot in the arm to employment opportunities and economic activities and restaurants,” Markowitz said Tuesday.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs On The Story

So where could they fit a casino in the midst of ferris wheels and roller coasters? Well, there is a stretch of land once zoned for amusements that was rezoned in 2009 for residential use. Supporters of the casino said that would be an ideal location, and could bring millions of dollars of revenue to a struggling economy.

“Then Coney Island would offer a dynamic, year-round resort both outdoors and indoors,” Markowitz said.

However, casinos are not without risk. A 1999 study showed that communities within 50 miles of a casino had a 50 percent higher rate of gambling addiction, and an 18 percent higher rate of bankruptcy.

“Gambling is an addiction. Are they going to set aside funding so that we can make sure that if people get addicted to gambling that we will help them out? You know, it’s not just about making money,” said Staten Island Councilman Dominic Recchia, D-Coney Island.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he understands the need to find new revenues, but isn’t convinced gambling is the answer.

“You want to have things that attract people. I’ve never been all that gung-ho on gambling. I’m not sure it’s the panacea, and I worry about it being regressive. I’ve said a number of times that I’m sympathetic to the governor. He’s got to find a way to pay for services, and that’s one of the ways to do it,” Bloomberg said.

But, the mayor added, if gambling is legalized, he’d certainly like the city to share in the revenues. The odds, after all, always favor the house.

The push to bring casino gambling to Coney Island is getting mixed reactions from the locals.

“I guess it’ll be good,” said one resident on Tuesday. “Jobs, economically, brighten up this area a little bit more.”

But some community leaders and residents worry about the social ills it could bring.

“If you hear me Marty Markowitz, forget about it,” one person said.

“Too many problems,” said another man. “They’re going to have to many degenerates, alcoholics, crack users.”

The governor’s plan to legalize gambling still has to pass the state Legislature and a public referendum, which wouldn’t be up for a vote until 2013, and then, there are zoning laws to contend with. Don’t place your bets just yet.

Where do you stand? Make your opinion known in the comments section below!

  • Brooklynbaby

    Half of ya that agree with Marty’s bitchass idea ya’ll all stupid! Im from C.I myself right there on Neptune. you think that casinos will make mattas better here? let alone Brooklyn? Nah I dont think so ,It will bring so much mo problems. There be shootings here ayday and with more tourist and money floatin’ around , I promise you they will be a HIGHER CRIME RATE ! NO DOUBT! So instead of wasting money on bs he really should FIX subway stations , housing buildings , or even make more youth programs around town.

  • Arn

    Brooklyn is such a vibrant borough, too bad its president is such a clown

  • Tommy

    Coney Island sucks now, it is dirty and sleazy. A brand new state-of-the-art casino would certainly be an improvement over the crap that is there now, which is basically dirty old retail buildings and housing projects (which suck away city resources like crazy – cops, firemen, teachers, and jails. We need the revenue, build it.

  • Brooklyn Dirty

    Aw, c’mon people. Marty is looking for his super grand retirement ticket (casino re-zone) to top his grand retirement ticket (atlantic yards).

  • Brooklynite

    I like Marty but he has lost his mind with this. Coney Island is finally cleaned up. Why would he want it to be the ghetto and 2-bit hustlers like it used to be?

  • Native New Yorker

    Will actual NEW YORK CITY RESIDENTS be allowed to work there, or will it be Atlantic City all over again?

  • Brooklyn Bob

    You’re missing a digit. According to, Markowitz’s salary is $160K, not $60K. (It makes no sense for a Borough President to get paid about half of the $112K that City Council members get.)

    Now, have you checked into his wife? His income before he became Borough President? His other assets?

  • mitchell k alekseyev

    This would be like ac because of all the big buildings in the area and also create many jobs

  • Cara

    Well if you put casinos, then what, will there be hotels too? Will it become like Atlantic City? I love visiting Atlantic City, but I wouldn’t want to live at Atlantic City

    • Native New Yorker

      Generally, the Atlantic City casinos refuse to hire Atlantic City residents. I’m afraid the same will happen with any casino in NYC.

  • Bklyn mom

    I think it’s a terrible idea. It will give the Russian mob more of a strong hold in its own back yard, (because you know they will be involved in any gambling!) not to mention bring in more crowds, garbage. etc to the beach (which is already GROSS). If you can clean up the area and provide parking without charging exhorbitant fees, then maybe…

  • PaPa Joe

    Like gambling, don’t like gambling, it matters not. This is a great Idea. Many, many years ago, when I was young, Coney Island was the place to go. My parents went there, on the McDonald Avenue trolley, every Saturday. My mom made the obilgatory pepper and egg sandwiches, on a roll, which, inevitably included a lot of sand. You could hear the sand grinding as you ate the sandwich. Coney Island – great then and great now. A casino would be terrific.

    • Vinny

      You’re giving away your age. I liked those sandwiches too.

  • vlad

    Great!! U can even bring people from Manhattan via Ferry!!

    • joey of B'hurst

      And where are you going to dock this ferry? Sheepshead Bay

      • Michael H.

        That’s not a terrible idea, with shuttle buses from the ferry dock to the casinos. Either that or they can renovate the pier at Coney Island to accommodate vessels.

  • w

    Why not? Must of the subway trains are already there, they have the space, it’s a much better place than Queens. Go for it!

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