The Real Deal Miami

Miami Beach mayor shuns casinos, covets convention center expansion

December 13, 2011 05:46PM

From left: Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and the Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower is urging city commissioners to vote against the expansion of gambling in Miami Beach, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

Bower has authored a resolution for Wednesday’s city commission meeting that opposes casinos, claiming they harm non-gambling businesses, are socially and economically costly, promote corruption, encourage traffic and generally worsen quality of life.

But according to the Journal, one of the motives of the vote is to return the focus to the Miami Beach Convention Center. While some see it as a potential site for a gambling resort, others fear that Genting’s proposal for downtown Miami, which includes a convention space, would render it useless. However, city officials would prefer to see a renovation and expansion that would encourage high-end meetings and conferences to gather at the site. [SFBJ]