Andrew Yang plans to build a casino on Governors Island in New York
Andrew Lang’s “Humanity First” platform unfortunately did nothing to help him secure enough support to be the Democratic Presidential candidate last year, but it could possibly aid him as he drifts off and focuses on trying to be the next mayor of New York City.
The entrepreneur and cryptocurrency enthusiast has tried his luck at the city’s mayoral race and is raking in support anywhere he can find it. A brand new campaign platform is drawing a lot of attention, even if it is a long shot. Yang is hoping for a new casino to be built on Governors Island in New York Harbor.
Yang firmly assumes that a gambling property on the 172-acre island would turn into a huge source of income at a time that New York City is losing tons of money due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While taking part of a recent interview on the radio talk show The Breakfast Club, Yang stated that it would “generate so much money it would be bananas.” The declaration would have certainly interested many locals, but Yang will have to do significantly more than that if he wishes to make a valid case for the casino.
Despite its size and location, Governors Island is actually not at all a hub of commercial activity. Mostly, it functions as a state park, complete with a national monument. There are a few places to grab a bite and some small retail shops, and most New Yorkers, specifically those that pull the strings, would most likely like to keep it that way. There is also the problem with ease of access, since technically a ferry trip is required to even reach the island in the first place.
Many larger obstacles block the way as well. Portico highlighted that New York City and the federal government signed a pact in 2003 that forbids the presence of casinos on the island. Moreover, projects associated with climate change and sustainability have already begun to unfold on the island. These would possibly allow some commercial and hospitality development, as long as they include a green business model.
Another big problem is that one-bedroom apartments in certain areas of New York City can sell for over $1 million, simply due to the fact that there isn’t a lot of available real estate. Governors Island is one of the few places, aside from Central Park, that provides something that a large portion of New Yorkers don’t ever have access to – green spaces.
New York State’s gambling scene, as of now, is limited to only upstate casinos. Despite that, there has been a push to get rid of the current embargo that bans gambling properties from being built elsewhere, and that idea is gaining support and popularity among the people. Even Governor Andrew Cuomo has seemed to change his stance on the topic, but still, there is a lot of work to be done. Former Governor David Paterson claims it is time for Cuomo to pull the trigger, declaring last month that three more casinos would mean $1.5 billion in extra money for the state.