Miami is known for its beaches, arts, culture, weather and … gambling? Gambling would be the odd one out and is something that should not be proudly advertised.
However, certain politicians and businessmen want to introduce a model destination resort casino into the South Florida culture. They do not seem to take the short-sighted nature of their proposal and the disastrous consequences that come along with it into consideration.
The sales pitch often heard from the potential developers of this resort casino business include three aspects that will result if development is allowed: an increase in jobs, a boost in the local economy and a vision of a bright future for Florida.
An increase in jobs may result with this new addition to Miami, but think of the jobs that will be lost as a result. This includes the local businesses that cannot thrive due to the destination resort casinos that will drive customers away. Destination resort casinos are designed to provide all the entertainment, dining and shopping amenities for its patrons.
A city already established in the gambling industry, Las Vegas, does not exactly find itself with a boost in the local economy. Currently, Nevada has an unemployment rate of almost 14% which is above the national average, and may I add, almost double Florida’s at the moment.
What will make Miami a viable gambling destination when it will have to compete with developed gambling destinations like Vegas, Macau, Atlantic City and cruise ships?
A rumbling gambling industry is not the first image that comes to my mind when I imagine a bright future for Florida. Bringing destination resort casinos may works for a little while, but it does not seem to provide benefits for the community in the long run.
Instead of bringing in a new dynamic into the city, maybe we should be appreciative for what we already are: a tropical climate filled with ambiance, art, culture, diversity and beaches all year long. Miami should not gamble on that.