This is the question I address in a piece I wrote for The Atlantic Cities, a very cool online section of The Atlantic that explores “innovative ideas and pressing issues facing today’s global cities and neighborhoods” and a must-read for people interested in how Miami can explode its own potential.
With the Florida legislature currently considering expanding gambling statewide and Genting hoping to build a mega casino called Resorts World Miami on Biscayne Bay, many Miamians are debating whether the expected jobs are worth the expected increase in crime, traffic, and other feared downsides. But how the expansion of gambling to include mega casinos — a whole different beast than anything in Miami’s existing gambling infrastructure — may affect Miami’s emerging arts community, in which so much hope and money have been invested over the last decade, is also a crucial question, and one without a clear-cut answer.
Art Basel Miami Beach has hinted that it may move elsewhere if Miami turns into — or appears to be turning into — Las Vegas East. At the same time, one gambling industry analyst I spoke to believes a mega casino could help Miami artists by employing them. With no existing research on the correlation between casinos and the vitality of the arts in their host cities’, it is hard to predict what will happen in Miami if Genting gets its way.
Nonetheless, that is exactly what I try to do in my story. To give it a read, head over to The Atlantic Cities. After, I’d like to know what you think. Will expanding gambling in Miami hobble its cultural development? Or is the expansion a gamble worth taking?