No Casinos! Help Plan Miami as a Real City

Miami can become a compelling real city in the future rather than ape other theme park meccas or zones of chance and illusion. Opening the floodgates to casino gambling in Miami Dade County will badly hurt our quality of life.
What’s being proposed? The Genting Corporation, a Malaysia firm, bought the Miami Herald building (for $256 million) as well as the Omni ($160m). They seek to build a resort with 5,200 rooms, fifty restaurants and two of the world’s largest large gambling casinos. If casino gambling takes over downtown Miami, other casinos will follow all over the county; the competition is already fierce; the whole character of the region will be forever changed.


Is that the legacy we want to leave for our grandchildren?


Do you want Miami to become another gambling mecca? Think about the quality of life in Atlantic City. Las Vegas has the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country.


We need creative public inclusion in the planning process and large private investments to make Miami’s downtown waterfront become the uniquely vibrant “real” city that it can be – not transformed into an inward looking resort that primarily benefits a small elite. If casino gambling passes in the state legislature, struggling downtown businesses will be stifled, and the area will be undermined as a cultural center. Miami Beach will be badly affected.


The scale of the Genting Resorts development will make our region less attractive for high tech professionals, artists and families. Crime and corruption will inevitably increase. The social costs of gambling (addiction, crime, prostitution, organized crime)- particularly in a poor downtown area- will be significant. California estimated $1bn in social costs and has not accepted gambling. Don’t we want to wake up from our reputation as “sin city east” rather than fuel it further?


Yet, many argue, jobs and sorely needed revenue will come. Surely there will be temporary work in construction but what kinds of long-term jobs will come? We have heard this before and know that better jobs can be stimulated in other ways. And who will guarantee that the jobs will benefit local people? The desperate competition of local governments for revenue can ruin the urban texture now being improved in the downtown area? Taxpayers will inevitably pay more for infrastructure costs, police protection and more.


We believe that area residents can become involved in public design workshops, to seriously consider seriously what Miami wants – rather than what Casino advocates might see as their own best interest. We have other alternatives. We should ask hard questions – now. Could we create a bond issue to fund a major community center, park and land for spectacular business headquarters within a publicly designed waterfront of stunning originality? Why not? We might even forge synergy with Genting towards a better design – without Casino gambling.


What can you do?

(1) Pass on the word and tell others to speak out.

(2) Write state and local legislators and say NO TO CASINO GAMBLING IN MIAMI DADE.

Stop Casino Gambling in the State Legislature- NOW!  or


One thought on “No Casinos! Help Plan Miami as a Real City

  1. A most troublesome aspect to me from today’s Herald story is the sheer greend and avarice of the gambling proposition, as if bigger than life is commensurate to better. What Genting proposes is a casino THREE times as large as the largest casino in Vegas!
    Admittedly, I am not a gambler (don’t even play the Florida lottery), and have never been more repulsed by any place on earth other than Vegas. And while families around the world flock to Disney, the resort has left the vicinity of Orlando a carcass wasteland of automobile stripland. So a question: is anything, no matter what, so BIG a good thing in the long run?
    There seems to be a wave of people so bent on finding a single holy grail / panacea of our depressed economy that are hell bent on making gambling happen no matter what. (How could gambling be seen as a positive life force anyway?).

    So assuming that this is going to happen, and I’m not conceding that it has to: In the very least, let’s be sure that whatever is built is done so at the urban scale of the block, with walkable urbanism that is people scaled. Let’s build up our transit system so that it serves the region and that building up the car wasteland / car sewer scenario is averted. Let’s build a WORLD CLASS transit system. That way, when gambling fails becasue we have better things to do, the urbanism and transit system remains.

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