Reporting Jim DeFede
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBS4) – After spending half a billion dollars on South Florida real estate, as well as hiring an army of lobbyists, why did the Malaysian gambling giant Genting fail in their bid to get casino gambling approved in the Legislature this year?
“They lost credibility immediately because it was very clear they were promising anything they could no matter how outlandish, no matter how impractical,” argues Dan Gelber, who led the No to Casinos campaign.
The company promised to build the world’s largest casino, 30,000 to 50,000 construction jobs, 100,000 permanent jobs.and hundreds of millions in tax revenue for the state and county.
“They did what gambling enterprises do, they promised an illusion of a great return hoping that, just like gamblers, the Florida Legislature or Florida itself would take a huge risk with their future,” Gelber said. “I don’t think anyone’s ever walked into town, and literally from out of the country, and said I’m going to just spend whatever I need to get what I want.”