NYC Mayor Candidate Proposes Casino on Governors Island


Mayor candidate Andrew Yang proposed a measure that would compensate for financial loses on New York gambling scene.

Yang’s proposal includes a future casino facility on Governors Island in the state of New York. Such a plan might face obstacles.

According to mayor candidate the future casino would generate a lot of financial benefits. He added: “If the city could get that in place and harness some of that — that would be one of the engines of recovery.”

Governors Island represent 172-acre land. It was former military and Coast Guard Facility in New York Harbor. It already has several restaurants and businesses established, as well as a large park and a National Monument but it is only accessible by ferry. It still has a lot of open spaces where casino can be built.

Yang is a former entrepreneur who ran for president last year. He said during a radio interview that it is the city’s mission to entertain visitors and to introduce them to different parts of it. A casino on the island would bring a lot of tourists and would general a significant amount of cash a year.

In theory, the project is supposed to benefit a lot of the poorest people in the city even though the costs are significant.

Yang added: “It’s going to be in an environment right now that is essentially unused,” Yang said.

Issues with Yang’s Proposal

Yang will have to face some issues with his proposal. First, a 2003 deed restriction banned casinos on the island. Also, there is unused part of the island but it is supposed to remain this way.

Second, there are existing plans in motion for the development of the island.

According to Alicia Glen, chair of the trust’s board and former deputy mayor, the current plans “are focused on developing a mixed-use campus that will provide educational, commercial and hospitality offerings centered on the theme of climate change and sustainability,”

She added that, considering the deed “there is no scenario under which a casino would fit into the current or future plans for Governors Island.”

As a response, Yang’s camp stated that it was rather an idea, than a fully baked proposal.

Yang spokesperson Chris Coffey said:“Andrew believes in constantly discussing new and creative ideas to help rebuild our city — but he also believes that any major development project must be community led,”

According to him, the idea will remain just an idea unless the shakeholders believed in the process.
Casino development is regulated by the state that still haven’t legalized mobile betting. After their latest attempt, gambling advocates in New York are hopeful that their proposal would gain traction this time.

Source: “Yang proposes casino on Governors Island to boost city recovery”, Politico New York, January 19, 2021

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