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Opinion: Yes to Casino, No to Malik

Written By Editor on 7/7/14 | 7/7/14

If Howe Caverns is awarded the Capital District's casino site by the New York State Gaming Commission, millions of dollars and hundreds of decent jobs will be created in Schoharie County. Local tax revenues will increase and county tourism is likely to see a significant boost from new patrons. 

These are all reasons why we stand 100% behind the creation and development of a casino in Schoharie County. We may not like the negative societal impacts that will tag along with estimated $450 million project, but the financial advantages are just too great to ignore at this point in time. 

However, we do not stand behind the casino's recently announced owner and operator, Michael J. Malik Sr., who exemplifies everything wrong with the gaming industry today and makes the Howe Caverns bid look just that much unappealing to already queasy residents opposed to the project. 

As we reported last week, Mr. Malik has a laundry list of disturbing actions from his past ranging from child abuse to election fraud and fiscal mismanagement to personal involvement in ponzi schemes. Additionally, he was once disqualified from holding a gaming license in his own state of Michigan in the 1990's. 

Besides our worries over the competency of the Howe Caverns team in selecting Mr. Malik to serve as the public face of the proposed casino, we believe that the morally challenged magnate's further involvement in the bid will ultimately cause it to fail from either lack of local public support or the Gaming Commission's distaste for characters of his nature.  

There is no reason to mince words on this subject, Mr. Malik's involvement in the project will cause it to fail if he remains the proposed owner and operator of the Howe Caverns Resort and Casino. The remedy is apparent for project managers: replace Malik with someone reputable, or be prepared for millions of dollars and hundreds of man hours to be wasted in a futile bid to the state. 
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