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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / US Betting News / Mets’ owner Steve Cohen sets sights on NYC casino market

Mets’ owner Steve Cohen sets sights on NYC casino market

Publish Date:04/29/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Video: Queens Is Talking.

Queens Is Talking.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hired a team of experts to help him secure a casino license in New York City as the state reviews applications for new permits. Cohen’s move puts him in direct competition with other companies vying to open a casino in the city.

According to a Bloomberg report, the billionaire is actively seeking a casino license in Queens with the same enthusiasm he has shown in building the high-priced Mets roster. To secure the permit, Cohen has spared no expense assembling the best lobbyists to persuade local officials.

“He has hired the best team that money can buy,” Warren Schreiber, the leader of a Queens civic organization against the casino, said to Bloomberg News.

Cohen competes with rivals like Las Vegas Sands, Resorts World, Related Cos. and Wynn Resorts.

He has reportedly partnered with Seminole Hard Rock to bid on building a gaming site adjacent to Citi Field in Flushing, Queens. The proposed location is a parking lot situated west of Citi Field.

Prospects, benefits, challenges for Cohen’s planned casino

To obtain a license, Cohen is required to pay an application fee of $1 million. If his bid is successful and he is selected, he will then need to pay an additional $500 million.

Cohen has also invested over $1 million in a public relations campaign, including community meetings and social media campaigns via the “Queens Future” website.

Even though the website does not mention a casino, a casino in the city would generate significant revenue for its owner and the state. The state-commissioned analysis indicates that a Queens-based casino could generate $1.9 billion annually by 2025.

A background disclosure form is required by the state for casino ownership, however, where applicants must attest to their “integrity, honesty, good character and reputation.” This might be an obstacle for Cohen, whose hedge fund SAC Capital pleaded guilty to wire and securities fraud and was fined $1.8 billion by the federal government in 2014.

Although Cohen was not charged with a crime, there were accusations of him not preventing insider trading at the company.

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