Residents of New York City will head to the polls in November in order to elect a new mayor and Democratic candidate Andrew Yang (pictured) is reportedly hoping to win over voters with a suggestion that the metropolis should bring a full-scale casino to Governors Island.
According to a Tuesday report from the news domain at Politico.com, the 46-year-old former entrepreneur and businessman is endeavoring to succeed Bill De Blasio as the 110th mayor for the largest city in the United States. But the source detailed that the past Presidential candidate is up against some stiff competition including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former New York State Assemblyman Scott Stringer and popular city councilman Carlos Menchaca.
To make his mayoral campaign stand out from the rest, Yang has reportedly been floating some innovative propositions that would be designed to help New York City boost its economy and head off a coronavirus-induced deficit that is expected to reach as high as $9 billion by the end of next year. These include a proposal that the city of over eight million residents should bring a casino to the 172-acre island located just off the southern tip of Manhattan.
Yank reportedly used a recent appearance on The Breakfast Club radio show to explain that a Governors Island casino could allow New York City to generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year by attracting even more tourists to its five boroughs. The candidate purportedly believes that such revenues would permit his administration to partially offset the costs associated with his $1 billion basic income plan for the city’s half-million poorest residents.
Yang reportedly told The Breakfast Club listeners…
“That casino would generate so much money it would be bananas. If the city could get that in place and harness some of that; that would be one of the engines of recovery. It’s going to be in an environment right now that is essentially unused.”
A former military base situated in New York Harbor, Governors Island is only accessible by ferry and currently hosts several restaurants and small businesses as well as large swaths of open space. It was sold to the state of New York for a nominal fee in 2003 and is now purportedly the subject of a public consultation regarding its future use.
However, Yang’s suggestion that Governors Island should host a gambling-friendly facility reportedly faces numerous obstacles including a deed restriction hashed out with the federal government at the time of its sale, an ongoing moratorium on down-state casinos and a popular plan to develop a mixed-use campus featuring a wide array of educational, commercial and family-orientated hospitality venues.
Chris Coffey serves as a spokesperson for Yang and he reportedly told Politico.com that the candidate hadn’t fully vetted the Governors Island casino idea and was simply suggesting that it could be a way of helping the city to raise much-needed funds.
Coffey reportedly told Politico.com…
“Andrew believes in constantly discussing new and creative ideas to help rebuild our city but he also believes that any major development project must be community led. That’s why this idea, like many others, would not advance unless stakeholders believed in the process, which is far from even beginning.”