Steve Cohen, a billionaire financier who previously expressed interest in bringing a New York casino near City Field, is now developing his efforts. Recently, New Green Willets LLC, created by the owner of the New York Mets in 2022 for lobbying for the project, announced that it will hold a vision session at the ballpark on January 7, 2023.

In the fall of 2022, Mr. Cohen shared a plan to push for one of the three commercial casino licenses available in the Downstate area. In early 2022, the Empire State Administration officially included the expedited processing of licenses in its budget as a way to provide more revenue to the state’s finances. The process must now be moved forward by a year.

As mentioned, the event will be held at the ballpark on Saturday, January 7, 2023, and we urge residents and staff of Queens to attend to give their opinions on the future of the property around the stadium. But New Green Willet’s media did not specify whether the vision session would survey people about possible gaming properties in the area.

Despite not mentioning the casino project, the vision session points out that the area around City Field has long contained 50 acres of empty and wasted opportunities. This space divides the neighborhoods and limits access to the coast. It remains to be seen whether this empty land will be used as a possible place for Mr. Cohen’s casino plans.

In November 2022, New York Mayor Eric Adams notified plans for a 25,000-seat football stadium for competing New York City FC in MLS. The project also included the development of new housing for Willet Point. It has also been reported that Mr. Cohen met with the mayor and other city hall members to discuss potential development plans.

With these developments, Mr. Cohen’s lobbying group, and his request for a formal casino permit application, it is likely that his proposal will be ready for one of the three seats. However, the billionaire’s proposal will have to defeat fierce competition from Caesars NT, Thor Equitz, and Stefan Soloviev.

This week, New York’s Game Facilities Location Committee held its first meeting, and successfully voted to launch a request for Downstate Casino license applicants. The committee reported that applicants should agree to invest at least US$500 million in each casino bid while paying another $500 million in licensing fees to the state.

In the tender, the applicant must provide a description of the expected competitive environment and potential impact on existing gaming facilities over the next 10 years after starting the casino. In addition, the new panel should take into account financial factors that are high in bidding, such as job creation, employment coordination with unions, and the ability to comply with reasonable construction plans.

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