Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. represents the 47th District, which includes Coney Island, and he has a few concerns about the proposal to put a casino there if Governor Cuomo is successful in his attempt to lift the statewide ban on gambling.
“Everybody’s jumping to put a casino in Coney Island and I’m just saying, ‘Whoah, let’s talk about this,” Councilman Recchia said.
Councilman Recchia’s main concern is that people in the neighborhood may become hooked on gaming.
“I’m very concerned about people getting addicted to gambling and I want to make sure that, if this happens, there is funding for programs,” Councilman Recchia said. “It is proven through studies that neighborhoods surrounded by casinos have a very high bankruptcy rate.”
Though the councilman is worried about the effect a casino could have, he thinks Coney Island could be a good location for gaming as long as the plan includes gambling addiction programs.
“It’s up to the governor to make a determination, but we already have certain parcels of land that are zoned for hotels, so we are ready to go,” Councilman Recchia said. “But if we do this, we have to have funding in place for programs to help people that get addicted to gambling so they dont go bankrupt.”
Councilman Recchia also wants to make sure any plan to build a Coney Island casino brings jobs into the area.
“A lot of times, they build these casinos and they bring in people from the West Coast, from all over. “We want jobs, jobs, jobs. Yes, we want jobs but those jobs have to stay in Brooklyn and especially Coney Island,” Councilman Recchia said.