New York Mets Owner Expresses Interest in Casino Licence

The owner of the New York Mets MLB franchise, Steve Cohen, could well see his chances of obtaining a casino license granted after it was revealed that MLS soccer side NYCFC (New York City Football Club) had submitted planning permission to have a casino resort added onto their new stadium.

It would mean that should this be granted, it may increase Cohen's chances of replicating this at his Mets' venue, with the businessman having long been exploring a similar development.

Previously, this has been a point of contention, with Cohen's plans to build a casino in Citi Field's parking lot hitting roadblocks, with this being considered parkland and, as such, unavailable for development.

However, a similar situation arose with NYCFC, though casino plans have been approved, thereby setting a precedent for Cohen to be able to potentially overturn any negative decision.

What Are the Implications?

What could work in Cohen's favor is that NYCFC's new stadium is set to be built right next door to the Mets' venue, effectively being in the same land classification as his facility, paving the way for possible approval for his own casino plans.

City mayor Eric Adams confirmed that the build would go ahead in the Willets Point area, with confirmation that the parkland classification is set to be removed in order to make this possible.

Having onsite gambling facilities at franchise sports venues is nothing new in the US, especially over the last couple of years, since the country's various states became regulated, and, as a result, this would resemble a major coup for Cohen, who has long lobbied for a gambling facility.

The go-ahead would allow him to submit a casino license to Albany legislators; however, state senator Jessica Ramos would be required to see detailed plans of this before any decision is made, with this being the subject of a 'public review process'.

They view the stadium plan as a big selling point for the casino. Anything that shows the state that more people will be coming to the Willets Point area will only help the casino plan.

Official StatementCity Hall Representative

More to Follow for New York?

Should this be approved, it could well set into motion a domino effect for sports franchises in the state, assuming that there is enough space for the development of sporting venues, all of which are likely to want to follow suit.

Recently, there has been much conflict surrounding the development of casinos in the city, with there being considerable opposition to Caesars' bid to house one in the highly populous area of Times Square, Manhattan.

The state plays home to well in excess of 10 major sports franchises, and while it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, that each of these could house a casino, it may transpire that a percentage of these look to explore this option.

Cohen, though, has long been pursuing this, and the fact that he was one of the first franchise owners in the state to express interest, in addition to having plans drawn up, could well work in his favor.

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