Today casino is opening in New York City; soon one will be opening in your living room

Genting Miami

Today, in the world of casino gambling there were some interesting stories, that taken together show a dramatic shift in the general attitude toward casinos.  Until the 1990s casinos were located in backwater, out-of-the-way places – Atlantic City and Las Vegas (there were others in Nevada and the riverboat industry was just getting off the ground, but they were minor by comparison) – neither city had a very large population; to get to either one, a gamble had to travel a considerable distance.  Since then casinos have opened in a couple of major cities, notably Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans, but for the most part, casinos have been outside of major urban population centers.  Today’s news illustrates how dramatically that is changing.

First, tomorrow the first casino (actually just a race track with slot machines for the moment) is opening in New York City.  In Florida a very heated and spirited debate is beginning about proposed legislation to permit three casinos in the state – the debate was started when Genting (Genting is the same company that is opening the casino in New York City) proposed a $4 billion project for Miami.  In Georgia, the Atlanta Journal Constitution published a summary of a report commissioned by the state lottery commission, the report recommend at least one casino in Atlanta.  In Massachusetts, the president of the state senate promised a bill ready for the governor’s signature by Thanksgiving – the bill will allow for a several casinos in the state, including Boston.  In Illinois, the state legislature is working on a redraft of a bill to allow five additional casinos in Illinois – and yes one in the city of Chicago – the governor is likely to veto any bill, but still Chicago is on the table. In Minnesota, the discussion has been opened again about permitting a casino in Minneapolis-St. Paul to fund a new football stadium.  It wasn’t in the news today, but a casino in Kansas City, Kansas is currently under construction;  Baltimore and Columbus, Ohio also have projects underdevelopment.

That makes Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami and New York City all moving toward having at least one casino in the metropolitan area – quite a change from just a few years ago.  If the movement to put a casino in Miami is successful it is certain to generate other copy-cat proposals.  It only takes a developer, a couple of drawings and a city eager for jobs and tax revenues that is willing to make a few concessions and wallah you have a casino in Los Angeles (ignoring the fact that most California cities have an Indian casino on their doorstep), San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City (okay, maybe that one is stretch) and just about anywhere else a speculator seems an opportunity.  Where will it all lead?  Probably to the halls of Congress – if Congress does not pass an Internet gambling bill this time, it is certain to be back, again and again until it does pass.  And that means, not only will every city have its own casino, so will every household.  I am not sure I think that is a good thing, but it will take something major to stop the momentum.


2 Responses to “Today casino is opening in New York City; soon one will be opening in your living room”

  1. 1 lynne rosner October 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I liked the photo of Genting Miami so much I wanted to steal it. When I tried to find the website you took it from it brought me to Wow, thats a lot of online poker sites they have there. Antanas Guoga, aka Tony G sounds like a real stud…

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