Greater Miami Chamber Of Commerce Endorses Destination Casino Resorts

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Barry Johnson, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce President
Yesterday, Miami's largest business organization put its support behind destination casino resorts, which should please its new landlord. The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution to back the proposed state casino bill that might allow Malaysian-based Genting to turn the site of the Miami Herald and the Omni Mall into ultra-exclusive hotels, condos, restaurants, shops and gambling dens. Coincidentally, the chamber's office is located in the Omni.

However, Chamber President Barry Johnson assures Banana Republican that being Genting's tenant did not influence the group's decision. "We've had the same lease we entered into eight years ago," he says. "Nothing has changed. It's really about taking a proactive stance for the community."

Johnson also noted the Chamber's backing of casino resorts comes with some caveats:

  • The resorts would have to be approved by Miami-Dade voters in a referendum.
  • The destination casinos should pay a comparable tax rate as existing parimutuels.
  • Local governments would get a portion of the state's gambling revenues for public works projects in Miami.
  • Seventy-five percent of the workforce must be from south Florida.

The casino bill will be one of the most closely watched items in the upcoming legislative session. One of the bill's authors, Ellyn Bogdanoff has already amended her first draft to cap a tax on all gambling revenues at 18 percent, which is opposed by at least one of the big casino companies, Las Vegas Sands Corp., according to the Miami Herald.

However, the blog Eye on Miami found an online resource that shows 18 other states tax casino operators more than 10 percent, which is what Bogdanoff originally proposed for the destination resort licenses. The blog also questioned the claims by Genting officials and supporters that three big casino hotels would create more than a 100,000 jobs based on employment figures from the other gambling states. For instance, Nevada - home to Las Vegas - has 256 casinos that only employ 175,000 people.

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Jose Gonzalez
Jose Gonzalez

There are a lot of good changes.  The Bill should sail through the legislature now.  The parimutuels should be very happy with the revisions. They get a reduced tax rate from 35% down to 10%, if they submit an application and pay the state fee.  The Miami Chamber of Commerce realizes that this is Miami's only hope for a prosperous future.

They love scams
They love scams

The Chamber executives and the lobbyists who influence them are the same idiots who loudly and aggressively pushed corrupt elected officials into voting for the one sided Marlins deal. Taxpayers will lose WELL OVER $3 Bil on the scam.

Whores.

Joe
Joe

Finally a business organization with some guts and integrity.  They know this will create jobs and they dont have to answer to Disney or the North Florida job snobs

Stuart Dishmon
Stuart Dishmon

Thank you Miami Chamber.  Can you get the sellouts in Tallahassee to grow a set?

John Santorum
John Santorum

AWESOME - FINALLY - someone with some sense - someone is looking to the future of Miami and Miami Beach and this great state of Florida!  Yeah!  Finally, someone who sees that Florida needs jobs, more tourists and the state needs revenues from someone other than taxpaying residents!

Wendy Frish
Wendy Frish

Miami can't lose this opportunity to turn our economic situation around.  Everyone I know if unemployed or looking for another job.  I would love to have a job at the casino.  Not as a dealer, but in one of the luxury stores on the property.  There are going to be a lot of opportunities that open up for South Floridians if the casinos are built.

Diazpaula39
Diazpaula39

Folks, the article implies that because the Chamber has an office in the old Omni, they have been influenced by Genting. Duh, won't the whole place be gutted when Genting takes over?I don't see any conflict here. I do however hope the politicians and special interest groups don't blow the deal for Miami. We need the money!

Jean-Claude
Jean-Claude

In case nobody has been paying attention, the Genting Group is already looking elsewhere to build the resort. The naysayers have pretty much blown the greatest thing (that could of) happened to Miami and Florida in decades. The potential for this project to help both our south Florida community and the state as well may be lost as Genting looks to New York where at least the legislators (and public) know a good thing when they see it. I'm ready to endure the snow and move back to NYC and apply for a job when Genting builds there. I hope I'm wrong and there is still time left for the politicians and the people to come to their senses and approve the new resort in Miami, otherwise C'est la vie. 

Dale
Dale

And all the small stores will close.Tax rates will go up.I used to be for this.I looked and saw what happend up North ....This is a bad idea.Jobs wont pay enough to keep up with what the casinos will do to the surrounding area...

Thomas Posauner
Thomas Posauner

I guess this will make Miami neither safer nor prittier.

Eva Jordon
Eva Jordon

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Mario Mendoza
Mario Mendoza

So 256 casinos in Las Vegas, translate into 175.000 jobs only.  And somehow 3 mega casino are going to create 100.000...???  We don't need casinos in South Florida.   Tell IBM, Microsoft, Apple, GM, Mercedes Benz or GE to invest in Miami, not Genting.

ChuckRiley
ChuckRiley

FINALLY! Its about time some of the local businesses back the Casino Bill. It makes sense- we need the jobs. Lets stop fighting over it, and support it to help put Miami back to work!

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