He’s swinging for the fences — and hoping for a jackpot.
When his Mets look to shore up their ranks in advance of the trade deadline, proprietor Steve Cohen is at the similar time angling to protected a person of the 3 downstate professional on line casino licenses, dispatching close associates to cozy up to Mayor Eric Adams and Queens officers.
Sources instructed The Article that Cohen is ramping up initiatives to companion with a on line casino operator and eyeing redevelopment potential customers all around Citi Industry in Willets Place.
He also started vetting quite a few casino house owners for his license push more than the past various months, operating with investment decision financial institution Union Gaming to decide on a husband or wife.
Cohen is considered to favor Tough Rock – also a key donor to Gov. Kathy Hochul – a source near to the course of action said. He was also not long ago talking to Sands Lodge and On line casino, sources said.
When Cohen purchased the Mets in 2020 he talked to Sands about a potential casino project down the highway, The Put up described at the time.
True estate builders and gaming operators are at present rolling the dice for the right to open up community open casinos.
There is presently two slot parlors up and operating at horse-race tracks that will utilize for a complete license — Resorts Environment/Genting at Aqueduct in Queens and the Empire City/MGM at Yonkers in Westchester County. Hudson Yards on the West Facet of Manhattan and Situations Sq. are also spots becoming eyed.
“Cohen has a large procedure,” claimed a on line casino market resource, introducing that the Mets owner is seriously relying on his in-property talent on the casino discussions.
Cohen is also CEO of Stage72 Asset Administration, a Connecticut-based mostly billion-dollar hedge fund.
Michael Sullivan – Issue72’s main of staff members and head of exterior affairs – is mentioned on the New York Condition Gaming Commission’s site as the principal lobbyist for New Eco-friendly Willets, LLC, which shares the similar tackle as Position72.
The source explained “Sully” is properly acknowledged as one of Cohen’s most dependable associates.
Various sources noticed Sullivan palling all over with Adams at the personal nightclub Zero Bond past Thursday in the course of a reception for the 2024 Democratic Nationwide Conference host committee.
“He was likely all around telling anyone that he was the operator of the New York Mets,” stated 1 supply of Sullivan. “He was frequently bringing various people today to satisfy the mayor.”
Town data present NGW has put in virtually $99,000 on lobbying Metropolis Corridor and City Council officers between Jan. 1 and July 15.
Documents record the names of Cohen, Sullivan and Level72’s common counsel Vincent Tortorella as lobbyist personnel of NGW.
The function of the conferences had been to push for the downstate lawful casino licenses in the point out spending plan, talk about “potential economic progress, housing and mass transportation improvement at the Willets Level community of Queens, NY” and raise the controversial personal business enterprise vaccine mandate for athletes, according to the filings.
He’s touching all the political bases by meeting with elected officers.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, a Democrat, stated Cohen asked for a assembly with him before this yr, which he described as a preliminary dialogue about what to do with the assets they very own in Willets Place close to Citi Area.
He said Sullivan was there, as well as Mets common supervisor Billy Eppler.
“They asked, “what are your thoughts if there was a on line casino?” Richards recalled to The Article in a cell phone interview. They also talked about transportation possibilities, housing and enjoyment programs in the space.
Richards explained Queens communities, notably those people about Willets Position, are even now hurting post-pandemic and instructed the execs: “I want to make sure there is financial commitment and career progress.”
Sullivan also attended meetings on June 27 and July 7 with Democratic condition Sen. Jessica Ramos, who presently signifies the district which includes Citi Subject and Willets Level, and who this 7 days took on AOC, calling radical the congresswoman “absent” from her constituents.
“He expressed curiosity in knowing what the neighborhood thinks about building all-around Citi Area and acknowledged I would have to approve of any improvements in land use,” Ramos informed The Put up.
She said she hasn’t witnessed any options for a on line casino, but if proposed she will very likely be essential to sign off on laws.
It’s important for Cohen and his staff to satisfy with elected officials if he wishes to gain acceptance to build a casino.
The state Gaming Fee will appoint people today to a on line casino siting board by Oct 4th, per state legislation. Soon after that, a 90-day time period will open up up to assessment submitted bids.
Gaming passions will have to earn two-thirds approval of a 6-member neighborhood advisory board for the location in which a on line casino approach is proposed.
Representatives are slated to incorporate appointees from the borough president, community condition senator and assembly member and Town Council member, as very well as the governor and mayor.
Unless condition-owned home, the on line casino strategies also would have to be accepted in accordance to the city’s lengthy land-use evaluation technique that requirements the blessing of the Metropolis Council – and possibly Albany.
Cohen started off cozying up to Adams during his profitable campaign for mayor. He donated millions to a pro-Adams super PAC last 12 months. He and his wife Alexandra have also donated 1000’s to Hochul, for each condition board of elections filings.
“For many years, New Yorkers have acknowledged that our town can get additional out of the spot around Citi Area. Steve has invested in the group, the ballpark, and the borough simply because he views owning the Mets as a civic responsibility. He will keep on engaging stakeholders throughout Queens as the group thinks about how to revitalize the community,” Cohen spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin-Cohen — who has no relation to the Mets operator — informed The Put up in a assertion.