Genting Casino Will Kill Miami and Miami Beach

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Luther "Luke" Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Campbell explains why the Genting Group, the Malaysian gambling company that bought the Miami Herald and Omni properties, won't save the city.

The Genting Group plans to redevelop The Miami Herald's waterfront home into a megacasino with hotels, condos, restaurants, and shops. Sure, there's a lot of potential to generate much-needed revenue for the City of Miami. But the type of resort that Genting executives are promoting will suck the life out of everything else in the Magic City and Miami Beach. And I don't buy into the promises that Genting will create 30,000 permanent well-paying jobs for Miami residents.

In order for the project to be successful, Genting must make sure no customer ever leaves the site. Chief Executive KT Lim won't want his hotel guests and high rollers taking their rental cars over the MacArthur Causeway to enjoy fine dining at Joe's Stone Crab or Prime One Twelve. And the party will no longer be centered at LIV or Mansion.

He will make sure he has bigger and better versions of those entrenched Miami establishments to keep his customers from even thinking about venturing elsewhere. Genting will spare no expense to bring in top shows and entertainers. So you can forget about catching Cirque du Soleil at the Arsht Center.

Those high-flying performers will have a regular gig inside Genting's casino palace just as they do in Las Vegas and Macao. Genting even has plans for a convention center double the size of the one in Miami Beach.

Miamians will get hired to sweep the floors, change the sheets, and serve the food. We don't have a workforce experienced in manning gambling tables and managing the casino floor. Genting has to bring those people in from places that have a gambling industry, like Vegas, the Bahamas, or Singapore, where the company already has a major casino resort.

Yet it looks like there is no stopping Genting. Watch politicians such as Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado as well as our state senators and representatives during the next few months. They will be lining up to support the World Resorts Miami boondoggle because Genting and its associates will raise bundles of campaign cash. The company basically has to do this to win Tallahassee's approval for a gaming license. Heck, the company is rumored to have taken a few state legislators on a tour of its Singapore site to grease them up.

The politicians should be working to bring casinos into the existing hotels that are struggling through this economy. If I were mayor, I'd tell Genting thanks but no thanks.

Follow Luke on Twitter at: @unclelukereal1.

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41 comments
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Jim Mooney
Jim Mooney

Luke has lost his mind - again.  He can't be for real.  Miami needs this casino.  No other jobs are coming to Florida.  The casino is the only thing that can help pull us out of this recession, at least locally.

Wendy Frish
Wendy Frish

A Miami resort would be the best thing that could possiblyhappen to Miami retailers.  Thinkabout how many indirect businesses that are supported by Disney.  People to go Orlando to visit DisneyWord but they stay at the other hotels and eat at the other restaurants andshop at the many different clothing stores in Orlando.  A Miami resort casino would be thequickest way to pull Miamians and Miami retailers out of the ongoing recession.  The future solvency of Miami depends on this resort being built.  I hope the politicians don't get greedy and screw it up.

Pepe
Pepe

Luke doesn't have a clue what he is talking about, he states that the only jobs available are throwing out the garbage or what not. There are tons of jobs that can be created for hard working people there is everything from basic casino operations, to the club/resturant scene. A place like that will great. Rather have people spend the money here than some other country or state. Luke shouldn't be so one sided here.

sobenative55
sobenative55

Free speach is maybe one of the most cherished thing we posses. I do not see Mr. Lukes POV on this,I do not agree at all with him.This Genting deal is big, real big. As a matter of fact so is our new stadium.  We now have the two largest costruction projects going on in the USA. Now another Monster Project which will feed and encourage more construction and bring Miami into World Class status!. The Panama Canal widening for larger ships at the same time our port is being readied with dredging and that that monster tunnel ! . Park West and finally Historical Overtown. Ah Overtown. Did they get a bad deal in the 60's. I 95 and I 395 destroyed OT.Now is the only chance to make right with it. So who"s in when it comes to looking out for the Overtown population ?.I am certainly going to be watching while i get my hands dirty.Things have changed, and changed again.Maybe we all can come out ahead. You can"t stop it. It is definitly here. Hope and Change.

Miami_Irish
Miami_Irish

since i read in another article luke that you have politicalk ass-perations why do you and your boys from 2 live crew get out on the streets and help clean up miami of all the shootings and all the other crime ........ i know you coach football but guess what you still need to get on those people who arent involved in sports!  

Carfunkle
Carfunkle

Florida doesn't really need gambling nearly as much as gambling really needs Florida.

Severian07
Severian07

Luke ,ur right.. for once.  This aint Las Vegas and i don't want it to be.

Guest
Guest

If it halves my property tax bill then I am in.

Miami_Irish
Miami_Irish

Luke are you serious??? arent you the one who got bought out of the mayoral race by robaina???

sobemichael
sobemichael

Really? Really? Are you SERIOUS? I am now dumber having read your article, at no point did you make any coherent sense. This is one of the many reasons why you aren't Mayor. Lets start by saying even if there aren't 30k jobs employed by Genting, even if they employ 20k, well don't you think other small businesses come along to help support the site? like pizza joints, subways, a new fed ex route, more taxi cabs and perhaps some restaurants. Sure some employment may come from overseas, from people who know how to manage the way they want, some jobs will be filled by people who currently work at the Hard Rock, Gulf Stream, ect... I also live only a few blocks away from the Omni, I am excited about the potential of the resort, even more hopeful that a casino gets put in. Also do you really think that this resort will take away all the glitz and glamour from South Beach? Wow, it almost seems you have never been to New York, or Las Vegas, just because a new attraction that happens to be large doesn't mean that it sucks all the income from tourists, it in fact attracts tourists because people want to experience it, they want to say I've been there. Its like visiting Orlando to see Disney or Universal, or like why cities keep sports teams, so they attract more people. Also, they will probably send people to there cruise line at the port. How many companies are willing to invest 3 billion into a city and possibly have one more casino destination in Miami Dade, one more in Broward?  Times are tough and with all the budget gaps, housing slump, and high unemployment this is exactly what we need. If they hire 30k people, this would drop Miami's unemployment by 1.6%, with another casino of the same size employing 30k more that would total 3.2% from the over 11% currently. This would also help with a boom in housing, because this is housing generally goes, people want to be where the action is.  So to end this rebuttal you would rather have 250k for black week, which  for some reason during that time there is more crime, more vandalism, more shootings, more people running out on tabs for food, (regardless if black,white hispanic, this behavior is immature and wrong) or would you rather have high rollers who rent cars, homes, actually pay for food? hmm, sounds like a yacht is coming on by... and now we also know why the Miami New Times moved out of the old building, newspapers are old news and your opinion sir is just plain cranky.  Good luck with your lawsuit against the ponzi skeemer, I'm sure you are innocent, its not like he was right about what he said about the Miami football players right? oh, yea, i forgot, he was right about that....    well there is always Atlanta!! you could move there, they dont have a casino, i think... ciao

Bold Porn
Bold Porn

uncle luke is speaking the trust

Accurate
Accurate

Very well thought out. Well written.

Who wrote this for Uncle Luke?

seep
seep

Are you saying black people are incapable of writing well?

Talk Nightlife
Talk Nightlife

This complex will suck the character out of the Miami and Miami Beach area. Already, over-commercialization and gentrification have sucked a lot of the character out of the area. What makes Miami, Miami, will be gone. Sure there will be jobs, but most of these jobs will be menial tasks, as Luke points out, with the true plum jobs going to out-of-town interests. And as far as gambling goes, this will not be for the local crowd, but instead cater to out-of-town tourists blowing their paychecks. Those casinos in the Bahamas? The local population is discouraged and sometimes not even allowed on the gaming floor.This whole project reeks of rampant corporatism. Look what happened to Vegas. Yes, there was gambling, but it was all run by (big) local companies, until the late 1980s. The ending of the movie Casino pretty much summed it up. The huge conglomerates moved in, and made the whole city canned, generic, and "family-safe". Sin City my ass, the most trouble you can get into without getting tossed in the slammer is screaming "Vegas, Baby!" on the Strip. We've got 'em beat in the sin department, by far, by the way. 

Do we want to see the essential character of our neighborhoods stripped away in the name of a "potential" amount of economic influx? At what point do we stop chasing the almighty dollar? I'm all for making a buck to provide for yourself and your loved ones, but not at the expense of what makes a city or a neighborhood unique. I spent a year in Vegas, and it was truly a sad sight. The city's essential character is gone, and all that is left is a bunch of glittery faux-concrete casinos and suburbia. I couldn't take it and came home to Miami. There's still character and culture here, and the Genting complex will drive that out of town in the name of "progress". 

Lukeisstupid
Lukeisstupid

Miami has constantly reinvented itself so please get off the character joint. In the 60`s and 70`s we were a retirement community. 80`s and 90`s we became the cocaine capital, gun toting, party community. This past decade we have tried to become a more artistic, cultural community that like to party still. With this economy we have been downgraded to a city that is just famous for a 2nd place basketball team. This is a project that will make Miami a leading competitor in the world market and give us tons of jobs. Either grow with Miami or continue its downward spiral into mediocrity and welfare.

305D85
305D85

Luke isn't being hypocritical.  His idea was to take existing places like Magic City and upgrade them, not to bring in a development run by a Malaysian multinational corporation of which we have no control over.  If this is really going to happen, in my mind a city wide vote needs to be conducted.  He's right about this place killing off and outcompeting the Arsht center.  The gambling revenues will subsidize the entertainment and there is no way the performing arts center can compete. 

Lukeisstupid
Lukeisstupid

Your not supposed to have control over private companies.... You have been drinking the Obama juice. Let the rich asians come in and build infrastructure and get more rich off us. Give us a bunch of 30k a year jobs and pump money into the economy. This is America and thats how business is run. Would it be any different if Trump was going to do this?

305D85
305D85

In reply to the commenter Mr. Stupid,

If the legislature and then the city approves an exemption for your private corporation to do an activity which is illegal for anyone else to do, the license should come with reasonable conditions. 

In the state of Florida, lottery revenues, another form of gambling, go to support education.  As a condition for this kind of massive development, the city should be trying to negotiate the best possible deal for it citizens.  Granting a monopoly license, however long the exemption lasts, in exchange for the promise that the monopoly business will hire a bunch of employees, doesn't mean that you are getting the best deal for the people and interests you represent.  There need to be guarantees that the hiring process will not be discriminatory.  Miamians come in all stripes, shapes, and sizes, and to really alleviate unemployment we need job opportunities that are open, accommodating, and accessible to a diverse group of people, not just people who fit the image of the Genting luxury resort company.  Upon further investigation, casino hotels like Genting may not turn out to be the most equal opportunity hiring companies.

This is not about politics, whatever your opinion of Pres. Obama is. The representatives of the people need to recognize that this is about negotiating in the best interests of the diverse people of the city they represent. 

Kirkslade
Kirkslade

No you are wrong. I want the government to help me and take care of me. I want to sit on the sidelines and let other regions prosper. I never want to be better! I agree wholeheartedly with your point of view! Let the useless fail already. Create the new! Uncle Luke is a pussy!

Lukeisstupid
Lukeisstupid

Every business I have ever worked for states they are an equal opportunity employer, but like I have always said, "Its not what you know, its who you know"? There is no such thing as equal opportunity and you fighting for it is in vein. Educate yourself and get proper work experience and you make yourself competitive to have a shot in this market. We need to do away with the days of giving people a job because they are a certain race. 

aalmi002
aalmi002

I totally disagree with Uncle Luke on this since I think, just like Vegas, the casino will bring an economic boom to our city and state. Once you build a casino such as the one Genting envisions, other big casinos will come and establish themselves in places such as Miami Beach like the Fountainebleu. This will also help the other regional casinos thrive such the Broward ones including the Hard Rock and Magic City casino since they'll be more competitive and offer better deals than the big casinos just like in Vegas and the rest of Nevada. 

305D85
305D85

This is the truth. Luke, Miamians will not just get hired to sweep the floors, change the sheets, and serve the food.  Our daughters will also be hired as prostitutes, eye candy for the asian tourists, our sons will be hired as drug dealers, and out of a job at the other establishments will have to rob to eat and feed themselves and if they still have a family provide for them. Why does the State of Florida Legislature think it is okay for a Casino like this to be allowed only in Miami, but don't want it in their own backyards? The State Government wants the additional tax revenue the Casino will provide, but won't be there when the problems spill out into the community this casino is housed in.

Legalized gambling is not as bad as this special exemption because the force of it is diluted across the entire state or City and its not concentrated in a multinational company's monopoly.  Let the existing places figure out how to cater to people with money to gamble.  This Malaysian company decided in two days what their plan is and didn't consider at all what Miamians need.

This Casino won't provide enough money to the city to hire all the additional police, vice enforcement, educators we need to absorb this casino's impact. 

Just make sure when all is said and done you pass by these politicians in the gambling resort lobby that you notice the comped drinks, chips, free hotel rooms, nightclub passes that they earned through their crime, the effect of which is to sell out the people of Miami and its government.

Lukeisstupid
Lukeisstupid

This is the most idiotic argument I have heard. Thank God you didn't win the election. You campaigned on gambling and fun, yet when they want to build a huge gambling epic center that will create thousands of jobs not just in the casino, but in hospitality, security, management, construction, etc. your the first one to bash it. Talk about hypocritical. You train people to work in a casino. People will still cross the bridge to eat at Joes and go to LIV, Delano, Shore Club, Ocean Drive. Now their will be more things to do in the city besides drink, club, and strip clubs. This is exactly what Miami needs and will create much needed revenue to the county.

Kirkslade
Kirkslade

Of course it's idiotic. Luke wrote it. Correction, he scribbled some words down and the New Times put it in sentence form for him.

Charles
Charles

Gambling is worse than going to jail.  first they take your money and then they take your clothes!

Marc Medios
Marc Medios

1. I disagree too. People will drive to Miami Beach2. Speaking really selfishly, I hope a lot of the high-rollers and whales do stay in the casinos and DON'T drive to Miami Beach, so that restaurants will remember us, the middle classes, lower their prices and make a night out fun again.

Mike Rivero
Mike Rivero

I disagree. I think people will still make the short drive to South Beach from this new hotel/casino complex. People will come from all over the world to experience Miami, and they will have more options. People want to get their moneys worth, so they are going to drive to SB, go to this new casino, go see shows, and come back next year to experience what they didn't have time to do in one trip. This new complex will be able to host more tourists from more places and open Miami up to the world in a new way. I think we should begin to attract Chinese and Indian tourists, the Brazilian tourist industry is already taking off!

Lta347
Lta347

This is ridiculous. The casino staff can be trained. I am sure that could be part of the deal that they hire locals and train them. This can only be good for the terrible job market down here. It will keep tourists here. Also, in the article about genting they state they will be making deals with Arscht Center to promote their shows. So, clearly Luke is not very informed.

sobemichael
sobemichael

I agree, as of a few years ago the city residence of miami was footing the bill for the Arscht Center, now its right above the black, with resorts coming into town, it will pay for the centers that Miami residences are on the hook for... and also maybe more than 100 people will go to the Marlins games!!!!! this is called tourism!!!!!

muslimteaparty
muslimteaparty

The city and county governments are so predictable... show the politicians some pretty pictures and it'll be approved. What a sad state of affairs in Havan-- I mean Miami.

AA
AA

Please explain how this is a myopic point of view?

I have to whole-heartedly agree with Luke. Where would this group find the appropriate personnel to man the gambling floor?

I have a feeling this is something we'll have to pay for dearly, literally and figuratively.

We need to help the already established businesses here survive this slump, not aid in their demise.

sobemichael
sobemichael

Fl currently is #4 in the USA without Las Vegas style gambling. There are other casinos who employ people who are local. They would probably flee those casinos to grab a chance at the resort. Also, Macau China is the #1 in terms of gambling revenue, its brings in 7 times more than Las Vegas, also keep in mind 10 years ago casinos on the island didn't exist. If Miami gets Vegas style slots, then the opportunity is larger than Macu. Miami would be the worlds #1 destination for casinos. 

Alex G.
Alex G.

So we should say no to the new, bigger and better because Miami supposedly doesn't have experienced casino staff? I thought we live in America, free enterprise, may the best man win. Let the people choose who deserves their business. What's wrong with Miamians hired to serve food, sweep floors and change sheets? I can check into any hotel in Miami and see that right now. Makes no sense.

Ian Coutts
Ian Coutts

Not 100% in agreement, because if the destination resort casino thing is approved, then the Fountainbleu would have it's on people there gambling, not to mention other potential casino/resorts in Miami Beach. Anyways, MB is world renown and will be one of the reasons come to Miami in the first place, to stay at the Genting Resort. This is like saying only one or two resorts can survive in Vegas. Don't Agree Uncle Luke. Would like to hear a response! 

Sanchez
Sanchez

Don't hold your breath for a response. Of course the Fountainbleu -and many others- will open a casino. They are probably happy Genting is the one footing the lobbyist bill to make it happen.

Whatever Luke writes, take the exact opposite.

blahblah29
blahblah29

Not true.  The state will issue a certain amount of gaming permits that will be all over Florida if you think Miami will get more than 2 you are out of your mind.  Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale maybe even Pensacola are all in the running!

Mistrwrong
Mistrwrong

It's all kinda the same arguments about Hard Rock rehashed. And it's funny how this seems more threatening than urban week violence at "killing" Miami Beach. 

Real Talk
Real Talk

Weren't you the one who mentioned bringing in casinos when you had your brief run as "mayor candidate"?

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com...

Come on Luke! I loved your music but the whole writing thing got you lying to us!

Vernon6
Vernon6

Dead-on correct, Uncle Luke!

Iceberg
Iceberg

thats a myopic point of view.

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