New York Mets billionaire owner Steve Cohen hopes to hit the jackpot by becoming one of New York City’s only casino license holders.
Cohen has been vocal about his desire to open a casino in New York City’s Queens borough. The casino would be in the Willets Point area, which is also home to the Mets’ Citi Field.
Earlier this week, NYC Mayor Eric Adams approved a $780 million mixed-used developmental project. The plan includes a 25,000-seat stadium for the New York City Football Club, a hotel, and 2,500 units of affordable housing.
COHEN MAY PARTNER WITH HARD ROCK HOTELS AND CASINOS
Cohen believes that the more growth the area has, the easier it will be for him to secure casino rights, according to a New York Post report.
“They view the stadium plan as big selling point for the casino,” a City Hall staffer told the outlet. “Anything that shows the state that more people will be coming to the Willets Point area will only help the casino plan.”
Cohen’s main competition for the gaming license is Related Companies, which is eyeing a partnership with Wynn Resorts. Meanwhile, Cohen is interested in teaming up with Hard Rock hotels and casinos for the gambling proposal.
The hedge-fund owner has already spent a ton of money trying to woo over government officials. He donated $1.5 million to a Super PAC that backed Mayor Adams. While Cohen’s wife donated nearly $70,000 to Governor Kathy Hochul’s election bid.
MAKING FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
You can be sure that the billionaire knows exactly who to cozy up to in order to make the deal go through.
“[Cohen and his team] has spent lots of money and spent a lot of time being introduced to a s–tload of state and city officials to start making relationships before officially making the ask,” an insider told the New York Post.
The new NYCFC stadium is expected to open in 2027.
Meanwhile, Cohen’s Mets clinched their first playoff appearance since 2016. It didn’t last, though, as the San Diego Padres defeated them in the Wild Card Series.