Genting group fails again at a major gambling expansion

Casino Watch Focus has reported that Genting Group was one of the key companies leading the charge to get major destination casino resorts, that offer full scale Vegas-type gambling, legalized in Florida.  Those efforts failed during the legislative session, but they are still attempting to place the issue on the ballot, in hopes of orchestrating what will likely be a deceptive campaign to sway the voters. Not to be limited to one major market, Gentring turned their sites to New York.  They put together a $4 billion plan with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  An online source explained that an anti-gambling group immediately gone involved:

A coalition of anti-gambling advocates is hoping to derail the next step on the road to an expansion of casino gaming in New York — an effort that pits them against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature as well as a multibillion-dollar industry.

The Coalition Against Gambling in New York is made up predominantly of religious organizations running the gamut from conservative to progressive, as well as those concerned about gambling addiction. All present said the government was rushing into serving as little more than a enabler for an industry that preys on the poor and desperate.

“It’s the biggest something-for-nothing scheme ever invented,” said Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, referring to gaming corporations. “And the reason why they get away with it is because government is a partner to it.”

The Genting-Cuomo plan received various revisions in an effort to maximize support, but as the NY Times reports, the plan has fallen through:

A $4 billion plan announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to create the country’s largest convention center and a casino in Queens has fallen apart, the governor acknowledged on Friday.

Genting issued a statement saying that company officials “continue to want to invest in New York and plan to do so for years to come,” but that the uncertainty surrounding Mr. Cuomo’s efforts to push through a constitutional amendment to create a framework for casinos in the state made it difficult to reach a deal.      

 The breakdown of the Genting plan also highlights the challenges confronting gambling companies now: the industry has matured to such a degree, and casinos have so proliferated in the Northeast, that competitors are desperately seeking to take market share from one another or to block their entry altogether. Genting spent nearly $900,000 on lobbying and campaign donations in New York last year, according to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group.

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