To help persuade lawmakers, Genting promises it can have a casino up and running inside the Omni center by next year, resulting in 5,000 new jobs and $100 million in tax revenue. The company claims it will create 45,000 temporary and permanent jobs once the entire Resorts World Miami project is completed.

"I do support the casino resort because it will create so many jobs," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says. "It's a game changer."

His Miami counterpart, Tomás Regalado, also backs Genting. Carollo, who ran the city from 1998 to 2001, says Regalado's recent weeklong trip to Taiwan should raise questions. For one, the trip took place the same time the deal to buy the Herald was announced. For another, Regalado was accompanied by senior policy advisor Mikki Canton.

Canton is a lawyer who worked on a failed petition to legalize gambling in 1995. Her name also came up in the corruption trial of disgraced former Florida House Speaker Bo Johnson, who was convicted in 1999 of tax evasion. During his trial, it was revealed he had accepted $250,000 to work on a gambling petition from Bally's Casino Holdings Inc., Canton's client at the time. A witness against Johnson testified that Canton was present for an after-hours meeting in Johnson's legislative office to discuss the drive.

"It seems odd that Regalado would take someone to Taiwan who knows how to get things done for the gambling industry in Tallahassee," Carollo says.

Reached by telephone, Canton says she went on the trip as part of a $3,000-per-month contract to advise Regalado on expanding trade and economic development between Miami and Asian cities. She laughs off the ex-mayor's conspiracy claim. "That is just silly," Canton scoffs. "I have never met or spoken to anyone from Genting."

Ray Mou, executive director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Coral Gables, informs New Times that his government treated Regalado and Canton. "We covered their airfare on China Airlines and their hotel accommodations," Mou says. "During the trip, we had fruitful discussions about establishing a stronger relationship."

But Carollo is not the only community leader to raise a cautionary alarm about Genting's intentions. Supporters of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts have formed a nonprofit to develop a master plan that, if approved, would ensure that Resorts World Miami or any similar project complements the neighborhood. The group includes Regalado's predecessor Manny Diaz and Jeb Bush's former partner Armando Codina, who told the Herald the casino resort could create a traffic nightmare. He also opined that "things don't necessarily flourish in the shadow of casinos."

And former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, now a county commissioner, says the city would be better served by creating an open public space similar to the one along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago that would connect the performing arts center district to Bicentennial Park. "Miami will be the most exciting global city because of its natural, cultural, and human assets, not because we have casinos," Suarez says.

Of course, much of Carollo's theorizing could be apocryphal. Kuala Lumpur — site of Genting's headquarters — and Taipei are 2,000 miles apart, so Regalado's trip might have indeed been irrelevant to the casino plan. No deal for public land has even been considered. And Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch defends the newspaper's two dozen Genting stories in the past five months as fair and balanced: "There is a real spotlight on how we cover Genting. We take that very seriously."

Nevertheless, Carollo is gearing up for a counterproposal. "Why can't the city build its own casino?" Carollo says, turning away from the Omni to head back to his home in Coconut Grove. "Promise the county a percentage and put out a request for proposals. At least that would ensure that a bulk of the revenue actually stays in Miami instead of funneling back to Malaysia."

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80 comments
Politics
Politics

Regalado is corrupt. He's gone through 4 city managers in a short period; he's backed by Braman who scuttled the 1 cent tax that could have provided Florida with jobs and mass transit - both of what we desperately need. Regalado also hired multiple city workers while there was a hiring freeze - and i could go on. I'd suggest looking into Regalado's campaign financing contributions - I’m sure there would be some interesting 'donors' there.... Regalado is who needs to be recalled! Genting has been going through the right channels. They have invested half a billion dollars without the guarantee of even being able to have a casino. Yet, they have committed to improving the downtown infrastructure and creating JOBS - something South Florida really needs.

Cdzlaptop
Cdzlaptop

Joe, can you imagine the City in the gambling business?

Steve Moss
Steve Moss

It's SO obvious that Joe Carollo has been paid by the opposition. He has been working his own downtown casino deal for the last few years with Art Falcone and his foreclosed on Miami Center site. Him and Regalado and the rest of the Falcone henchmen will continue to try to scuttle the Genting casino deal regardless of how good it is for Miami. I don't want a casino built on the cheap and on land that is in the slums - that's what Carrolo has to offer. No thanks.

richard
richard

A scam in the making, with residents as the pawns. Regalado and all the rest, are in on a backroom deal, great for them, horrible for residents. Forget it if you own a small business in Miami, you won't be able to compete with the casinos $5 steak dinners and $20/night hotel rooms the casinos offer to get you to gamble. ATlantic City went downhill and the great jobs offered were low paying service jobs while other service jobs in the city will be eliminated because of tourists only frequenting the casino/s.

If you think traffic by the causeways now is bad, imagine when these monstorous buildings are complete. And, with this much money we will not only have our amatuerish crooked elected officials on the take, but serious mafia given the mafia sized potential for money casinos bring in. ... if this takes off, so am I.

LallaSalmah
LallaSalmah

Just look at the names:Diaz Balart, Codina, Jeb Bush, Fresen, and I could add that we need to get rid of the Republicans, but that would be wrong. What we would really need is to get rid of the Cuban AHOLES who are the ones who continue to vote for these Republicans.

Duffbeer1986
Duffbeer1986

Fuck You LallaSalmah, you fucking bigot. Dumbass, like Democrats don't pull bullshit. Look at Solyndra you jackass. Go watch another Michael Moore documentary ass clown.

C.O. Jones
C.O. Jones

The more The Miami New Times supports negative press against the Genting Group, the more it makes sense to Miami voters. First Miami New Times rolled of a story of Uncle Like (the moron) about the negative effects of casinos. Now this story. It is obvious that The Miami New Times is being fueled by deep pockets that do not want casinos in Miami...Maybe The Bahamas? Maybe the Cruise Line Industry? Maybe the Las Vegas or Atlantic City Casinos Groups? Maybe The Indians? Ohhhhh so many anti-casino groups and The New Times could be backing them all.The City of Miami has grown up. We are flushing away our low rent politicos and Chief of Police. We are getting rid of the influence peddlers and helping this community return to what it was design to do...be a tourist destination. We need jobs and we need to increase the reasons why people come to live, work and vacation in Miami. Joe Carollo is a bug in the windshield of our future. Who cares what his opinion is today? He has only himself and his political aspirations on his mind. Here's what Miami can do for you Mr. Carollo. We can give you a swift kick in the ass, just like the time you were mayor.

PS: Francisco Alvarado has written 3 negative stories on the Casino Issue. We can tell that The Miami New Times is giving the most for it's influence peddling stories back to those groups trying to grease the wheels. Look at the responses from readers Mr. Alvarado...Miami is not agreeing with you!!!!! Many Diaz, whom voters removed from office...Jeb Bush (a Bush is always a Bush) and The Codina Group whom Jeb Bush is a partner of is against the Casinos. Now I like the casinos even more!!!!!

Cdzlaptop
Cdzlaptop

You are misinformed. Manny (not "Many") never lost a mayoral election. he served two terms and was termed out.

C.O. Jones
C.O. Jones

Joe Carollo...didn't we get rid of him? We keep on flushing these low rent political figures and they all try to return to bask in the Miami Political Sun. The question is..Do you still slobber on yourself when you speak? Because that's nasty. Maybe you should just keep quite and let the City of Miami grow, without letting guys like you, suck the life out of this city.

Katk04
Katk04

(Suarez) says the city would be better served by creating an open public space....are you freakin kidding me!? Lets see what's better: Paying Law Enforcement to extract the Homeless People & Drug Dealers from a "beautiful public space"!.... or getting a casino that in the first stage alone will result in 5,000 new jobs and $100 million in tax revenue?...!!!!

Darlene Braden
Darlene Braden

Those stories about being connected to organized crime or islamic extremists have all been disproven and are not reported by reputable new organizations. The rumors were started by their competitors who were battling them for the New York Aqueduct casino, that was awarded to Genting and which is about to open. They have already been approved by the most rigorous investigative background checks of any other casino operator. They own the top destination resort casinos in the world and they are the owners of Norwegian cruise lines, which is based in Miami. Obviously, these stories are false.

Steve Linder
Steve Linder

Expect a lot more of this political maneuvering as the Sand puts more and more politicians on their payroll. This is what they did in China that led to an ongoing Department of Justice investigation. The Sands is behind all of this. It's a smear campaign designed to damage their competitor.

Jane Scully
Jane Scully

Genting has proven their commitment to Miami by paying over $400 million for downtown land. These mayors have already made commitments to Art Falcone and his group of underfunded casino owner wannabes who already lost most of their downtown property portfolio to bank foreclosures. They already tried and failed. Their property is in the slums.

These mayors are all in on that casino deal. It's shameful to see how easily they can be bought and then sent into the field to try to spin a somewhat plausible story of why the casino would be bad. Their political career's are over so now it's time to completely sell-out - and they have.

Euro trash
Euro trash

wow Miami,ans wake up these guys dont want to block the casino....They want in and this is how they do it ...Stand up make noise against until they get a pice of the pie then they will be best friends defending the CasinoMiami politics as usual ....you think that casino is not going to be built LOLOLOLOLet me see Developers with deep pockets +Politicians looking to fill own pockets =WELCOME TO THE NEW SOUTH FLA CASINO

Mrnlee
Mrnlee

These idiots want to block this project, but they approve the marlins stadium!. Just think how many tourist will fly into MIA and pay airport taxes, go to restaurants and give people jobs, while paying taxes, and stay at hotel and pay taxes ( which will pay for the marlins satium which was voted down twice by residents). Lose to casinos and have casinos pay taxes, if they win, we get taxes. All to make a better Miami.

randrand run
randrand run

BE NICE TO ATTRACT TOURISTS ON THE WAY TO CRUISE SHIPS-IN CASE THE SHIP DOESN'T SAIL-THE FOLKS CAN GET A LITTLE TLC VACATION, NICE FOOD, GAMBLING, SHOPPING-AND SOME CLASSY CLEAVAGE! ISN'T THAT WHAT TOURISM IS ALL ABOUT? DON'T CROWD THE CRUISE SHIP FOLK'S INVESTMENTS-WE HAVE A HABIT OF CHASING AWAY OUR OWN TOURIST TRADE WITH THE XENOPHOBIC MOBSTER BLUES PARANOIA!

Mikejones
Mikejones

This casino will be the best thing for us miamians who aren't former mayors and don' get a salary the rest of our lives from the city or county..... So carollo shut the f*#[{ up.... The city will get a percentage with new taxes put in place that go along with new gambling liscences..... Remember all these old mayors will die soon anyways... So really it's the younger crowd who needs there opinion heard.... These old folks are trying to ruin things for the younger folks.... Us younger folks want the casino and we have a right .... We will be alive to enjoy it.... And it will help the entertainment industry in so many ways.... It will create a buzz unmatched by anywhere in the world.... Hands down

Afi Keita James
Afi Keita James

This is a great deal and a great Resort, we need to create jobs here and make miami a bigger super city.

Babykern71
Babykern71

well i didnt read anything so i cant say anything...it was long and looked boring...plus i am a teenager so such news is boring to me....the only reason i came on this site is to pretend i am doin homework so i can use the computer and other things...i would recommend this site to anyone who is doing the same thing as me and or who is a teenager looking for current events is miami to write homework on...stupid teachers...i know....

loveboat2010
loveboat2010

Bring on the the asian mafia!! Miami is an equal mafia trade zone. Regalado takes a secret trip to asia while the Herald sells its building to the Genting group. The trip is paid for by a corporation in the gables for "improve relation purpose" yeah right!!! while the city is sinking fanancially and in a fiscal emergency? yeah this sounds like normal miami politics.And the fact that the Herald does not write negative stories on Regaldo is a coincidence to, right?

Sarah
Sarah

What an idiotic conspiracy theory. There's no logic to anything he says. BUT, even if there was, who cares? If this brings in more money and jobs, that's all we should care about.

Chekov
Chekov

Joe Carollo is an asshole, why the hell does anybody pay attention to this dumbass idiot? He's already proven to all Miami that he doesn't know shit about anything. Quit giving this douche bag a forum to say anything ... he's an ignorant moron.

Joe070654
Joe070654

Seriously i find it funny that a former politician, very honest hard working people as we all know, is upset about something like this. Lets see, prostitution, for God sake u can find that in the new times. Gambling, hello the indians are scamming the hell out of it. Organized crime, refer back to the politician comment. Miami has no industry other then tourism. Period. thats it. For some ass clown to speak of morals about this, well mr. brahman i'm sure wi pay all the news outlets to complain about it but who gives a crap. 30,000 jobs, property taxes will go down and most important, if a politician steps out of line bc he is not getting a kick back i'm sure uncle vito, uncle vlad and uncle lee will take them to sleep with the fishes. Besides they fired a police chief for messing with little illegal slots so make it legal

J.R.
J.R.

Finally! It is about time Miami permanently endorsed organized crime, gambling addiction, prostitution, and illegal drugs.

JO55
JO55

Heaven forbid we allow a little progress , some fun , glitz and glitter to this city - how long can we continue to use South Beach ?? South Beach was great in the 80's and 90's - time to move on and catch up to the rest of the world and become a big time city , beautiful skyline , jobs , tourism what in the world could be wrong with that .It is our own fault for allowing these same corrupt incompetent clowns to be re elceted over and over - Carollo , get out of the way , the future and progress are going to run you over !!!!

IC
IC

OOOh.. they forget to put some money to Miami politicians pockets. The "gambling machine"will create 30,000 permanent jobs. How many our mayors did??NOTHING.so why don't you just shut up?

george33183
george33183

yea, we should listen to the guy you beat his wife with a tea container

Chekov
Chekov

Carollo is a dumbass and a thief. This POS is looking to see what he can pocket out of this deal, only reason he 'says' he's against it

Chekov
Chekov

Joe Carollo is a loser, should crawl back into the sewer that he came out of

Tea Party Miami
Tea Party Miami

Genting is promising 5,000 immediate Miami jobs, 15,000 construction jobs and 30,000 permanent jobs. That would employ all of Miami.

Wendy Frish
Wendy Frish

Those islamic extremist stories were spread by their competitors and have been discredited. That's why no legitimate news organization will write about it. Beware: other gaming interests will be infiltrating these blogs. What's your real name WampaLeaks?

This resort is the most incredible thing that has ever happened to Miami. I hope the politicians, or Genting's competitors don't screw this up. Genting has already ponied-up over $400,000 for land. No other company has shown this type of commitment,

Rauckus!
Rauckus!

If Genting signs a document that guarantees a good profit forthcoming to Miami after everything and everybody is paid off lets put a figure lets say 50% of the profits then Miami-ans should consider this offer.What probably would happen if there is no guarantee,between them,Tallahassee,and Miami we would probably lose money.Besides once this Pandora's Boxis open Miami Beach will follow with all their hotel claiming to develop into casinos.?Do you want your children in a Las Vegas type environmental decadence?,I lived there Iknow how putrid life is there

Cin An
Cin An

Genting is seeking ways to turn Miami, Queens, NY and Fall River, MA into new mini-Macau's - reported ties to organized crime, alleged funding of Islamic extremists and their history of gaming law violations makes for a very poor record against which public confidence can be maintained. The corruption allegations are now tainting political processes from Florida to Massachusetts dragging in a range of elected officials, Indian tribes and lobbyists into a scandal made for TV. Perhaps Chow Yun Fat will play Genting chairman Lim and Jet Li will be his partner international Triad crime figure Stanley Ho.

Roy Wright
Roy Wright

Three Miami loosers block what ?.....

FerrarI
FerrarI

Carollo and who also, bunch of old farts, that area is a dump with high crime , they are just mad they are not getting their hand in it , when was the last time Carollo did something for the city of Miami, oh i remember he beat up his wife.

GerOhm
GerOhm

Public sidewalks, dead-end streets around the Herald, WHO CARES?? It's a dump, just bums walking around there. Anything other than what is currently there is welcomed, get over it Joe. After it's said and done, I don't see Vegas complaining about their resorts.

harry nutzack
harry nutzack

banana joe just has an axe to grind because genting didnt hire him as a spokesman...

William Pupo
William Pupo

3 mayor's that where supported by the Herald. Not surprising.

Budman
Budman

Everbody's trying to get their beak wet. Whats the problem, there is enough to go around. GET SOME.

Sampson1
Sampson1

Miami needs this resort. I hope the greedy politicians don't screw it up.

barbar martin
barbar martin

Miami is too greedy for money,it is a shame that they do not care where the money is coming from....Just keep on dancing with the devil and we are going to be just like New Orleans and Las Vegas sin city

GerOhm
GerOhm

Hopefully like Las Vegas or New York, or somewhere in between. Miami is only better for it. Were you here 10 years ago?? Un-walkable downtown, empty streets; a total disaster. It's come a long way, people, educated professionals actually want to live in downtown. There's going to be a Publix for pete's sake!... What are you decrying? sin city?.. Ah, this is vice city, equally enjoyable.

JO55
JO55

Good comment , why can't it be better ? We have beaches , sun , fun why can't it be better than Vegas , a little more controlled and sophisticated like NY or Chicago .Publix , we have 4 of them in down town now , a major mall coming , shops , great restaurants young people jogging and biking on the streets , this is the place to be between Brickell - downtown - Design district - Mid town . Add to this a major waterfront hotel / gaming complex and planned and we have it all !!!!!

Joe
Joe

If we are going to have casinos lets open it up to everybody.

Christian Berke
Christian Berke

This is an issue of free markets. Let Genting open the resort-they have a record of opening up World Class Resorts! The rest of the miami hospitality industry will have to raise the bar to keep up and this is great for Miami as a tourist destination

 
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