Who Knew? The Tea Party Endorses Destination Casinos – Ignoring the Social Costs.

After careful consideration and debate, Tea Party Miami has endorsed Genting’s Casino Destination Resort proposal and efforts by Rep. Erik Fresen to legalize three casinos in Miami-Dade and/or Broward Counties. The Fresen proposal fosters competition and will create a boom of economic growth Miami sorely needs.
Genting Malaysia Berhan, a $45 billion public corporation, recently purchased the Miami Herald Building in downtown Miami. They have unveiled their proposed design plans for what will be called “Resorts World Miami,” a $3 billion gaming and mixed-use Destination Resort complex to be built within the next few years, assuming they acquire adequate legislative support.

In an effort to provide much needed jobs to the local Miami economy as quickly as possible, the Genting corporation has also purchased the adjacent Omni mall property which is currently abandoned and in foreclosure. They intend to equip the ready-to-use property with gaming equipment and to hire approximately 5,000 local workers as soon as Florida Legislators pass a bill allowing casino gaming in Florida. This temporary casino will kick-start our sagging economy.

Fresen, a Miami Republican, plans to file a Destination Resorts Casino Gaming bill in the upcoming weeks. Fresen’s bill will call for the issuance of three resort casino licenses in South Florida: two likely in Miami-Dade County and one in Broward County.

The mixed-use project will be unlike anything South Florida has seen in terms of sheer magnitude and design. With plans for four hotels, two condominium towers, more than 50 restaurants and bars and a luxury retail shopping mall. It’s being billed as one of the largest projects in the state.

The design of the 10 million-square-foot development draws inspiration from South Florida’s coral reefs. The centerpiece is a 3.6-acre outdoor lagoon – equivalent to 12 Olympic-size swimming pools and surrounded by natural sand beaches. This would allow visitors to literally swim from Biscayne Boulevard to the edge of Biscayne Bay.

The Seminole Indians have enjoyed a monopoly of casino gaming in Florida based on a deal Governor Charlie Crist made with the tribe. Florida gets the lowest percentage of revenue from the Seminoles of

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any of the states that allow Indian Gaming.

This time is right for non-Indian casino gaming in Florida. Our city, county and state budgets require it. Important future questions are: who is the best custodian of these valuable licenses; and what locations and opportunities are the most suitable for the Florida populous? It’s appropriate and desirable that all South Florida residents have a voice in the final application of casino gaming in their backyards.

In the meantime, Genting has put forward a world-class proposal that Tea Party Miami supports.

Take the poll @ www.teapartymiami.org

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