Cocoa Beach to draft ordinance banning casino gambling
COCOA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Commissioners in Cocoa Beach on Thursday unanimously approved moving forward with an ordinance that would ban casinos from coming to their city. Those in favor of the casinos say the city could miss out on some much needed revenue.
Hotels, restaurants and bars draw many to the main drag of A1A every year, but commissioners say they don't want casinos to be part of the mix.
"The ordinance is to be proactive," said Commissioner Skip Williams, "a proactive measure to try to deter future casinos from coming into cocoa beach, because we'd like to maintain and improve our image as a family friendly beach town."
Commissioners approved drafting an ordinance that would preemptively ban casinos from setting up shop within the city limits.
"We'd rather have more hometown businesses than big corporate casinos that take most of the money with them."
The move comes after nearby Melbourne recently approved the $50 million greyhound park a gaming facility with plans for nearly 2,000 slot machines. Some argue that the casinos could be a boon for the local economy.
"I think with the given the economy, it would be good for us to open casinos," said James McCarthy. "It's done a lot of good in other areas like on the Indian reservations,it's helped the people, and our area is depressed."
While commissioners fear the casinos would disrupt their family-friendly beach community, during public comment at a meeting Thursday night, Cocoa Beach residents were still on the fence about where to place their bets.