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Steve Cohen who previously expressed interest

Recently, New Green Willets LLC, which was created by the owner of the New York Mets in 2022 to lobby for the project, announced that it will be hosting a visioning session on January 7, 2023, at the ballpark.

In the fall of 2022, Mr. Cohen shared his plans of pursuing one of the three available commercial casino licenses for the downstate region. In early 2022, Empire State’s administration officially included the fast-tracking of the licenses in the budget, as a way of providing more revenue to the state’s coffers. Now the process should be accelerated by a year.

- Visioning Session This Week

As mentioned, the event will take place on Saturday, January 7, 2023, at the ballpark, and it urges residents and employees of Queens to attend and give their input on the future of the property around the stadium. However, the press from New Green Willets did not specify whether visioning session will survey people about a possible gaming property in the area.

Despite not mentioning any casino project, the visioning session notes that the area around City Field has long included 50 acres of vacant and wasted opportunity. This space divides neighbourhoods and bounds the accessibility to the waterfront. It remains to be seen whether this vacant land will be used as a possible location for Mr. Cohen’s casino plans.

In November 2022, NYC Mayor Eric Adams informed of a plan for a 25,000-seat soccer stadium for the New York City FC which competes in the MLS. The project also included a new housing development for Willets Points. It was also reported that Mr. Cohen met with the mayor and other City Hall members to discuss potential development plans.

With those developments and with Mr. Cohen’s lobbying group, and the official Request for Applications for the casino licenses, there is a good chance that his proposal could be primed for winning one of the three spots. However, the billionaire’s proposal will have to fight off some heavy competition such as one from Caesars Ent., Thor Equities, Stefan Soloviev and more.

- Request for Applicants Now Open

This week, New York’s Gaming Facility Location Board had its first meeting in which it had a successful vote to begin Request for Applicants for the downstate casino licenses. The panel reported that applicants must agree to invest at least US$500 million in their respective casino bid, while also paying another US$500 million in licensing fees to the state.

In their bids, applicants must provide a description of the competitive environment they anticipate over the 10 years after launching the casino as well as the potential impact on existing gaming amenities. In addition to that, the new panel will have to take into account a wide range of factors from the financial wherewithal of bids, such as jobs creation, employment arrangement with unions and ability to abide by a reasonable construction plan.
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Monday, December 11, 2023
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