Miami Beach reiterates anti-casino stance

Miami Beach commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to oppose any expansion of gambling and urge the Florida legislature to reject a bill that would open up South Florida to destination casino resorts.

Miami Beach reiterates anti-casino stance

Posted on Wednesday, 12.14.11
By David Smiley and Jonathan Silman

If Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn builds a casino resort in South Florida, chances are pretty good that it won’t be on South Beach.

Miami Beach commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to oppose any expansion of gambling and urge the Florida legislature to reject a bill that would open up South Florida to destination casino resorts.

According to the resolution passed Wednesday, Miami Beach contends that gaming carries “severe and painful economic and social costs,” “promotes corruption of the governmental process,” and would “exacerbate traffic.”

The vote continues a series of anti-casino votes during the past three years by the Miami Beach commission. It would likely discourage casino operators from eyeing property in the city should the current destination casino resorts bill pass in Tallahassee, because the bill currently requires local approval before a gaming license can be issued.

That means Wynn, who reportedly offered to pay for the city’s ambitious Miami Beach Convention Center expansion project during meetings last month with city officials, would need to look elsewhere to build a casino.

The vote drew cheers from a standing-room only audience in the city’s commission chambers. Outside a group of two dozen protestors made it clear that they aren’t interested in casinos on Miami Beach or across the bay in Miami.

People held various signs up, things like “Art Basel Yes, CasiNO!” and “What happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas.”

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