New York Community Boards Vote For Casino Zoning Amid Statewide Gaming Expansion

In New York City, the prospect of introducing casinos is receiving mixed reactions from community boards across various boroughs.

While Bensonhurst’s Community Board 11 voted almost unanimously in favor of a citywide gaming facility zoning text amendment, allowing up to three gaming facilities in the city, other community boards are expressing strong opposition.

This amendment would facilitate proposals like The Coney, a casino planned for Coney Island, contingent on winning a downstate bid.

The Coney Island proposal, endorsed by CB11 with certain conditions, envisions a towering glass building featuring the first legal gambling facility in the Five Boroughs, along with a hotel near the iconic boardwalk.

Robert Cornegy, a partner in the pro-casino task force, emphasized the potential economic benefits and community engagement efforts, including youth programs and job fairs for southern Brooklyn residents.

“The more people learn about jobs, opportunities, and benefits that The Coney will bring to Brooklyn and Coney Island, the more they like it” Cornegy stated, highlighting the positive community response to consistent engagement.

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Community Board New York

Opposition from Other Community Boards and Zoning Challenges

Contrastingly, several community boards, including Manhattan Community Board 6, Board 4, and Board 5, have opposed the Department of City Planning’s proposal to bypass the city’s land-use review process for casino projects.

This opposition is part of a broader debate over zoning amendments proposed to exempt casino projects from the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), potentially speeding up the approval process for casino bids.

The State’s Role in Casino Licensing

The state is playing a crucial role in the casino licensing process, with Community Advisory Committees appointed to assess public support for each casino bid. These committees will conduct public hearings, evaluating proposals for locations including Times Square, Hudson Yards, Citi Field in Queens, and Coney Island in Brooklyn.

As New York City navigates the complexities of introducing casinos, the opinions of local community boards are proving influential in shaping the future of these projects.

While some areas like Coney Island see potential benefits, others raise concerns about bypassing established land-use processes.

The final decision on these proposals and the zoning amendments will ultimately rest with the City Council, marking a significant moment in New York’s gaming industry landscape.

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Martin Vatev's exploration into the world of words began not amid the pages of fictional tales but within the bustling, pragmatic environments of newsrooms and media outlets. As a student of Journalism at the Technical University of Dortmund, Martin was swiftly plunged into the ecosystems of stories that were urgent, real, and imperatively bound to the world's happenings. By taking part in different local media, his days were enveloped in uncovering facts, ensuring objectivity, and rendering narratives that adhered strictly to the pulses of reality.