Brooklyn, NY – Sephardic Community Federation Working to Prevent Casino From Coming to Coney Island


Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s proposal to bring a casino to Coney Island has the Sephardic Community Federation spearheading an effort to prevent the casino from becoming a reality.

The Sephardic Community Federation, which boasts a membership of 100,000 Sephardic Jews in the New York metro-area, has been running a series of ads against the casino stating that gambling presents a host of moral issues and a very real risk of leading people down a path to addiction, the Brooklyn Daily reports (

“When you bring a casino, everything negative goes up, crime, gambling addiction,” said Steve Zeltser, spokesman for the Stop the Coney Casino campaign. Zeltser said the Federation became interested in this issue because so many Jews live in the area, but insisted, “This isn’t a Jewish issue. It’s a south Brooklyn issue.”

Zeltser has been working to gain the support of southern Brooklyn’s elected officials. Assemblymen Bill Colton (D-Bensonhurst), Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brighton Beach); and Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park), as well as Senator Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) have all said they will oppose the measure when it comes to the floor for a vote. “We’re building a coalition from Bay Ridge to Marine Park,” Seltzer said.

Thus far, organizations such as the Russian-American Jewish Experience, Friends of the Boardwalk and Safe Foundation have all joined the Federation in protesting the casino. The Federation is hopeful that the Catholic Diocese, as well as other congregations, will also lend their name to the cause.

But Markowitz has no plans to back down. “We already have the built-in powerhouse branding of Brooklyn and Coney Island,” the Brooklyn Borough President said. “The addition of a casino would serve as a catalyst for further economic development and solidify Coney Island as the city’s premier year-round amusement and seaside entertainment destination. When you really get down to it, where else but Coney Island?”

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  1. 1. They will never win, because its all about money.

    2. Any way you slice it, its not about crime, but about your own community that youre worried about and you cannot cntrol the entire world on your values. A casino is an accepted way of life in the civilised world.

  2. No offense Marty Markowitz, but your reasons for siding to allow casinos in Coney Island pale in comaprision to the problems it would cause, specifically to the residents in the greater vicinity.
    Please don’t force your wants and needs upon the multitude of Brooklyn residents who are merely trying to earn an honest living to support themselves and their famalies.

  3. Maybe the Sephardeshe Tzibur should stop trying to dictate their morality to the rest of the community. The battle over casinos is over…nearly every community in the U.S. has approved gambling in some form or another as a legitimate revenue source and the arguments about morality, crime, hurting the poor etc. have been considered and discounted. Also, new casinos in Brooklyn would provide badly needed entry-level job opportunities for boys and girls in the frum community who often have limited job skills.

    • you could stand to learn some of the morals of the “sephardeshe” tzibur.
      the jobs the boys and girls will get wil lcome at a very high cost to them.

      its the ashkenze tzibur who has sold moral down the tubes.
      not all of course i mean the left leaning libs like you.

      • Its no longer a “moral” issue when new york has already legalized all sorts of gambling, including the old OTB parlors in every neighborhood….casinos at least keep the money close to home and will help avoid cuts in critical city and state programs.

        • Of course there is a moral issue what on earth are you saying.

          What kind of element do casino bring? Nothing but trash.
          Would you subject you sons and daughters to it.
          So for the almighty dollar you give over jewish soles.

    • “Also, new casinos in Brooklyn would provide badly needed entry-level job opportunities for boys and girls in the frum community who often have limited job skills.”

      The Frum boys and girls will still need to have basic skills which they are sorely lacking. Their competition knows how to read at a high school level and the same with math skills. I am an employer and none of the Frum kids can pass the very easy skills test we give to prospective employees. I try very hard to employ them, but they just don’t possess what they need in today’s workforce.

      • When you are unemployed and have a family to support, you take any job you can get, unless of course, you prefer sitting around and taking handouts from your family and/or welfare programs.

    • um coney island is much closer to our community, we will B”H fight it regardless of anyones opinion cuz its in our own backyard and its BAD …… frum boys and girls dont work in casinos………aside from the fact it would be to dangerous an area at that point to work there………if anyone is for more crime (or a lesser moral place to live in) perhaps they may like harlem (or san fransisco) …………………………..the majority of frum ny’rs will be against it and will B”H fight it….so don’t hold your breath or count on it happening anytime soon

    • You don’t know what you are talking about.

      They aren’t trying to “dictate morality”. They are trying to prevent crime, etc. That’s a bit different. Even if they were, dictating morality IS something people do in the United States. Marriage has to be approved by the gov., as does divorce, age of consent, etc., these are all legal issues.

      Approving gambling, which most places HAVE done is quite different from building a mega casino. Most states do NOT allow commercial gambling, and of those that do, many require that certain stipulations be met– i.e. not on federal land. This is why they end up on Indian reservations or on the water.

      Who “considered and discounted” arguments about morality, crime, and hurting the poor? You? Because a lot of people haven’t.

      In most cases frum boys and girls should not be working in the casino. There is organized crime, “gentleman’s clubs”, a lot of smoking and alchool, and glorification of things that are frankly, usser. I grew up in a place with a large casino industry. None of the “classy kids” ended up working in it.

  4. I heard the same story 40 years ago about Atlantic City. How it will help solve all their financial problems, crime, etc… AC is the ugliest and most dangerous city in the country. It’s done nothing for the city. Just more crime and prostitution.
    I hope Brooklyn doesn’t end up like AC.
    By the way Texas doesn’t have any casinos because we are bible state. We might be the only state that doesn’t have it, but we are true to our beliefs.
    If we want to gamble, we have to shlepp to a neighboring state. 2hrs away.

  5. Were much better off keeping the casinos in Atlantic City where it’s an effort to get to. The number of Yiddin gambling with increase if a casino is 10 minutes from home and a man can tell the wife he’s going to a shiur and will be home at 11.

    • “The number of Yiddin gambling with increase if a casino is 10 minutes from home and a man can tell the wife he’s going to a shiur and will be home at 11”

      And whats wrong with that. For some yidden, gambling will be viewed as one of the few forms of recreation and entertainment they can enjoy….if a man is going to lie to his wife about going to a shiur, than he will find some other form of pritzus even if we don’t allow casinos. There should be some rules regarding location so that they don’t build casinos right next door to a yeshiva, beis medrash or mikvah.

  6. Markowitz can’t possibly believe this is a good thing for our community.

    These are very, very rich people building this thing. You can be sure they bought Markowitz off long ago before embarking on this endeavor.

    Markowitz _was_ a good man at one time. Now he is dreaming of condominiums in Florida

  7. I admire the Sephardic community tremendously. They understand the terrible toll gambling would have on their community and they are banding together with achdus to prevent this cesspool from entering our community. May they have much mazel and brochah and all of Flatbush will benefit!


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