August 22, 2023 3 min read


Gambling Firms Backing Children’s Sports Sparks Controversy Among Parents

While some parents view the sponsorship as a golden opportunity for their children, others are crying foul, arguing that their kids are being used as unwitting means to promote gambling

Amid the fervent competition to secure licenses for New York City’s inaugural casinos, developers are undertaking unconventional strategies to garner local support, but this turns out to be a move sparking parental discontent.

Casino Sponsorship of Kids’ Basketball Camp Ignites Ethical Controversy

This summer, a basketball camp held at Coney Island’s Kaiser Park was emblazoned with the logo of “The Coney”, a proposed casino project seeking to establish roots in the neighborhood, reported the New York Times. The basketball clinic, organized by Brooklyn USA Basketball, is just one example of the lengths to which casino operators are going to curry favor with local communities as they vie for coveted licenses.

While some parents decry the casinos for using their kids to advance a potentially detrimental agenda, others welcome the funding that enables enhanced sports programs and activities. The divisive issue has fueled heated debates on social media, bringing the ethics of casino-funded youth programs into the spotlight. The discussions have prompted deeper contemplation on the roles of gaming corporations within communities and the responsibilities they carry when engaging with the youth.

The controversy underlines the high stakes in the race for the three casino licenses in the New York City area. However, these battles extend beyond the boardrooms and into local communities, where concerns over the impact on children and ethics are in focus.

Silverstein and Greenwood Join the Race for New York’s Casino Licenses

Legal experts have noted that this grey area in advertising to minors continues to challenge states, despite measures in place to prevent casino operators from targeting young audiences. New York’s gaming regulators, for instance, have a pending rule proposal that would forbid marketing sports betting to minors, encompassing logos on clothing aimed at those under 21.

Besides The Coney, there are also other projects fighting for the coveted New York licenses. At the end of June, Silverstein Properties and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment joined forces to vie for a commercial casino license in downstate New York. Their proposed “Avenir” casino hotel, situated in Manhattan’s far West Side, aims to tap into the area’s high demand for entertainment and gaming options. The collaboration faces tough competition from other casino operators, with factors like financial stability and project design influencing the regulatory evaluation process. The developers must also address community concerns, as seen in Coney Island where residents are protesting a Boardwalk casino bid due to crime and pollution fears.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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