New Push For A Casino On Governors Island

By Ben Hamill - January 29 2021
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New Push For A Casino On Governors Island

New York City mayoral candidate and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Andrew Yang may have missed last year’s Democratic Presidential candidate-boat, but he’s clearly not given up on becoming the next mayor of NYC. His latest big campaign is attracting a lot of attention, and for good reason too. Andrew Yang’s latest victory bid is a push for the development of a new casino to be constructed on New York Harbor’s Governors Island.

And while Governors Island may not exactly be a melting pot of commercial activity in New York City, and actually for the biggest part operates as a state park and sight-seeing attraction, Yang’s chosen location poses challenges far greater than the obvious. Not only will the politically minded businessman have to convince those who would prefer keeping the area free of big developments that a casino would help, not harm, the area and its residents, but there’s also the issue of reaching the island. A ferry trip is currently the primary way of reaching Governors Island.

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Access And Other Challenges

Aside from the significant issue of access, there’s also a 2003 piece of legislation preventing the development of a casino on the island.

Governors Island is a former military and Coast Guard hub, and currently mostly home to a National Monument, park, a few restaurants and other business, and a whole lot of wide-open space. Not only would a casino attract tourists to the island in their drones, but it would also in and of itself generate millions of dollars in desperately needed revenue income every year.

The good news is that the Governors Island Trust is already in the process of rezoning the region in order to make it possible to bring big developers into the equation. The idea behind the process is to stimulate the local economy and to help foot the many bills associated with the region’s operations and survival. But there is bad news also: rezoning takes time.

It’s Time For Change

What cannot be denied is that New York City is in dire need of a boost to its annual income. The city has literally been bleeding money ever since the global health crisis hit.

Another given is that the time has come to abolish some of the current restrictions in terms of the city being limited to upstate casinos only. And although there certainly remains much work to be done in this regard, Yang may just have lit the fuse that will eventually ignite the fire.

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