MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – The City of Miami Beach may not be ready to take a gamble on expanded casino gambling in South Florida. Wednesday afternoon, city commissioners will vote on a resolution that says casinos are a losing wager for the city.
All the major casino players in Vegas are looking at what happens in South Florida, but one particular project is making some beach residents nervous.
“Genting, go home,” protesters yelled Tuesday afternoon.
Dozens of those protesters in Miami Beach say mega casinos are bad bet for South Florida.
“You know what the traffic’s like. That would be happening every weekend. We don’t have the infrastructure for casino gambling,” said Suzanne Stolar, a Miami Beach resident against the casino plans.
Casino developer Genting recently bought the current Miami Herald site to replace it with a 10 million square foot resort, with four hotels, and an 800 million square foot casino, right on Biscayne Bay in Miami.
“They’re not going to swim in the bay. They’re going to come to the famous South Beach,” said Joe Delvecchio, a resident also against the casino plans.
They brought their message to a Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce forum. City commissioners will vote on a proposed resolution Wednesday urging the state to reject any new casino project in Florida.
Former state senator Dan Gelber says a casino project is a bad idea.
“This is not a gamble you should take on your future, with your children, and with your community,” said Gelber.
“Gaming for Florida over the last 30 years has basically been completely uncontrolled, completely unregulated,” said State Representative Erik Fresen, who has co-sponsored a bill that would allow for three mega casinos in South Florida, which supporters say will pump billions into the local economy. But critics call it a quick fix that will dramatically impact quality of life.
“My intention isn’t necessarily to fix anything. If we’re going to fix anything, it’s the state of gaming in the state of Florida that is just proliferating out of control,” said Fresen.
Fresen says his bill was not written to help Genting or any other casino company.