Miami Beach Candidate Steve Berke Wants Casino At Convention Center

Categories: Politicks
CasinoConventionCenter2.jpg
via Steve Berke
Berke's rendering of a casino at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Schemers and dreamers have plotted for years to bring gambling back to South Beach, once the site of high stakes poker games featuring the likes of Al Capone and Meyer Lansky. Sure, local and state laws stand in the way, not to mention what's likely to be heavy local opposition to increased traffic. But think of the cash to be made!

Add Steve Berke -- comedian and would-be next mayor of Miami Beach -- to the list of casino backers. Berke announced today his plans to advocate for a casino at the site of the Convention Center and pointed to a state bill that passed committee today as a way to make it happen.

The bill -- SB 2050 sponsored by Sen. Oscar Braynon from Miami Gardens -- would allow five "destination resort" casinos to be built around the Sunshine State.

Berke says the Miami Beach Convention Center would be a natural place for one.

"(It) could generate $80 million dollars a year in local taxes, allowing Miami Beach to cut property taxes" Berke said in a release.

Current Mayor Matti Bower has backed a resolution against gambling coming back to the Beach. Her spokeswoman, Rebecca Wakefield, says quality of life would suffer if casinos moved in.

"Miami Beach has a number of logistical concerns of the effects of such a mega operation on the quality of life here," she says. "Once you open the door, you'd better be prepared to deal with what comes through it. That means long-term planning for traffic, public safety and other infrastructure considerations."

The new gambling bill doesn't exactly face sunny odds in Tallahassee. Opponents are already pledging to kill the measure, which has two more committees to navigate before getting a general vote.

"I think that it really is just a sad day in Florida when we've now made the decision that the way we're going to fix our economy is by expanding gaming," Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, tells the station.

Berke's renderings of a casino:

CasinoConventionCenter2.jpg
via Steve Berke
CasinoConventionCenter1.jpg
via Steve Berke
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15 comments
Princess SoBe
Princess SoBe

I am a Miami Beach resident for most of my life and I have seen what the Memorial Day weekend, Ultra, commercialization, high rises, endless construction and increased traffic has done to destroy what was once a wonderful place to live. The essence of Miami Beach has eroded to the point of no return. I am all for making it more beautiful and convenient (parks, bike program) but a new Casino would ultimately be terrible for the community and residents. Enough is enough, this is not Sin City. This guy needs to go back to comedy because he is truly a joke.

South Beach Superhero
South Beach Superhero

Hey I hope he gets elected thats all we need is another scandal in miami beach. He's playing the appeal to the idiot factor and making a reality show about it to boot. Just like waterman28 comment, hahahahahaha what you think we are to stupid not to know that it was probably written by Steve or one of his inhouse ho's, male or female. hhahahaha. What happened to the Jackie Gleason theater or are you planning to erase that part of history in South Beach as well.This dudes an idiot wanna be, love me, insecure, trust child, womanizing, drug head, to the highest level. I couldn't help but remember Newtimes from your last article about this bozo and his comment about getting woman drunk and anyone of them will go home with you in par with the latest scandal of Yale doing the same. Ah, Steve Jerk went to Yale right? This guy is nothing more than a scape goat for all the trash that tried to put their scum-bag paws on this community. Do you really expect us to believe New times that Steve Jerk made that rendering. Pleeeeeaaaaassseee! We need a real woman or man as our next mayor and this person is neither.

Blach
Blach

There isn't even ample parking to handle a 4 hall convention at the convention center. This would be a shit-show.

Theskreets
Theskreets

Steve suffers from a disease known in the psychiatric community as Trust Fund Child Disorder, Grandiose type.

Stay tuned for the next daddy's money-funded-sublimated-self-aggrandizing-PR-stunt.

Jackamo
Jackamo

Quality of life? Let's get rid of Ultra Music Conference first!

Abc123
Abc123

Steve us a real berkoff

Zack Heinkel
Zack Heinkel

The politicians are trying to continue making this city in "Sin City" (and they are succeeding). Homeless, gambling, discos, drug dealers, prostitution, perverts, gangs ( central-american maras) ghetto, etc. They are only focused in prosecute people with unleashed dogs!!! If you dare to walk your dog at any park without the leash (5 minutes), they'll treat you like Bin Laden, even if at your side you see guys selling or doing drugs, they don't care about it. They are hunting in the zoo!!!Wake up people, let's vote against them!!

carlos
carlos

Why doesn't the metromover go to south beach. That should have been done a long ago. Having a metro mover on its own track to the beach would solve any problems created by increased traffic.

Lakerwife
Lakerwife

Matti Bower is an old sourpuss. She should go get a real job and stop living off the public dole. She IS the Miami Beach mafia. We need change and more opportunities for those who make Miami Beach their home.

Waterman28
Waterman28

I like Mr. Berkes plan to allow casino's on Miami Beach. We have the top casino destination in all of Florida right in our back yard. We should all start to benefit from it. The casino companies will build our infrastructure for us. This could potentially bring in billions to our failing economy.

We need a new breed of forward thinking representatives to lead us into the future. Steve Berke has my vote.

nevernot
nevernot

The cost would be way too high for the benefit received. A new bridge would have to be built and land acquired for the footprint of the tracks through some of the most valuable real estate in Miami. A more sensible plan would start with an increase in bus service running on a more train like 24 hr schedule on the roads we currently have as well as a toll for nonresidents making the dedicated buses more attractive.

Mrche
Mrche

i agree Carlos, why the fu^$ there is not a metro or a metromover going to SOBE.... But the city prefers a tunnel for the Port of Miami..

nevernot
nevernot

If the current Marlins stadium deal has anything to offer it's that the tax payers will pay dearly in the end. While on the surface it seems like a decent idea the logistics of it fail. How are they going to handle the increased traffic? Why would any responsible casino operator build in an area that floods once a month during full moons? Why would the operators build out our infrastructure when the cities are happy to foot the bill as long as the kickbacks for construction keep coming? If you really want a casino in your back yard move up to the Hard Rock's neighborhood and see how happy you are.

nevernot
nevernot

The city doesn't prefer a tunnel, the shipping industry has already spoken out saying it would be irrelevant. The true reason for the proposed tunnel is construction kickbacks to commissioner Marc Sarnoff and his fellow criminals on the commission.

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