Coney Casino Receives support from First NYC Community Board

Sports Betting News: January 17, 2024, 01:34h. 

Updated: January 17, 2024, 01:34h.

The Coney Casino & Resort has secured the first backing from a New York City Community Board, quasi-government agencies that serve in advisory functions only. However, there’s a caveat to the $3 billion entertainment district proposed for Coney Island receiving such public support.

The Coney Brooklyn Community Board
A rendering of the proposed $3 billion casino project called The Coney. The development recently gained support from a Community Board in New York City. (Image: The Coney Casino & Resort)

Last week, Brooklyn’s Community Board 11 voted unanimously to endorse The Coney development. The 20-0 vote came after a public meeting where residents voiced overwhelming support for bringing thousands of jobs, economic activity, and new tax streams to the southern end of the borough.

The more people learn about jobs, opportunities, and benefits that The Coney will bring to Brooklyn and Coney Island, the more they like it,” said Robert Cornegy, a former city council member for the 36th district who last year joined The Coney project in an consultative role. “We will keep speaking to everyone and engaging our communities from the ground up because Coney Island is a vibrant neighborhood and The Coney will be the economic driver that helps us revitalize it.”

The Coney is being pitched by New York real estate giant Thor Equities in partnership with Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation, and Legends Hospitality. It’s one of an expected 10 or so bids seeking a downstate casino license. New York’s Gaming Facility Location Board is expected to issue the three coveted gaming concessions by the end of the year.

Boards Have Opposed Casino Pitches

There are 59 Community Boards in New York, with each board composed of unsalaried members appointed by borough presidents in consultation with borough council members. To be appointed, a person must live or work in the community.

Community Boards gauge public support for economic, land use, and zoning matters. Their positions carry no official weight, though city council members have regularly sided with CBs.

Community Board 11 issuing its support for The Coney is the first board backing of a proposed casino. But Community Board 11 doesn’t encompass the area where the integrated resort would be built on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Surf and Stillwell avenues on roughly five acres of land Thorn owns.

CB11 instead represents Bensonhurst and Bath Beach immediately north of Coney Island.

Coney Island Board Has Different Stance

Community Board 13 is the board that covers Coney Island where the iconic Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel and Cyclone roller coaster stand.

Last May, Community Board 13 voiced its opposition to the casino on the grounds that the development would add further traffic congestion, increase crime, and lead to higher rents. Some went so f

We don’t want it,” said CB13 Chair Lucy Mujica Diaz. The board’s opposition was made official through a 23-8 resolution.

Diaz said the good-paying jobs The Coney would bring might lead to Coney Island residents losing their housing subsidies.

Fortunately for The Coney developers, CB13 cannot prevent the resort from coming to fruition. Before the Gaming Facility Location Board can review the project, which would include a casino, hotel, a one-acre public park, on-site parking, and retail and restaurant space catered to local Brooklyn and Coney Island businesses, a newly formed Community Advisory Committee (CAC) must first endorse the undertaking.

Each casino’s CAC will consist of six members, with those seats appointed by the governor, mayor of NYC, applicable New York State senator and assemblyperson, applicable borough president, and applicable city councilor.

During an interview with last July, Paul Pippin, chief operating officer of Global Gaming Solutions, the gaming subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation, said the consortium was strongly interested in community input.

We look at this as part of the process,” Pippin said. “The community feedback is super important to us. We appreciate the comments and utilize the feedback to make our application stronger.”

Officials with The Coney told this week that the project has gained the signatures of more than 10,000 people from Coney Island and South Brooklyn who support the project.

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