- Cohen has teamed up with Hard Rock International.
- A casino project would be located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
- The $8 billion would include 25 acres of open public space at the park and community investment.
With so many proposals on the table regarding a New York City casino license, operators must add incentives or extras to try and sweeten the deal.
Mets owner Steve Cohen would like to try to bring a casino next to Citi Field and has recently added an $8 billion community investment to his casino plans. The hope is that the extra boost of funds will land Cohen the casino license.
Working with Hard Rock International
Cohen has teamed up with Hard Rock International to create a casino on a section of land within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Residents are skeptical of the idea as they feel it will take away from parklands and bring crime to the area.
Residents feel that a casino will bring much-needed jobs and revenues but could also increase crime in local neighborhoods and parks. Cohen has an answer to the fears in Metropolitan Park. The proposal claims to offer 15,000 jobs across the casino and other investments.
A community benefit fund would be created, and then community leaders would advise Cohen’s team on the community’s priorities. This week, the management team for the project presented the $8 billion plan for 20 acres of park space and some portion of the fields at Citi Park.
There will be improvements to the region, plus accessibility to Willets Point station, a food hall, and community funds used for health care, immigration, youth, and senior needs. The hope is that the big investment will get the community on the casino operator’s side and help push Cohen’s selection plan.
Huge Competition Ahead
For Cohen’s idea to work, he will need to be approved by the local community and gain the licensing from the state. It’s a tough road ahead, especially considering that ten other casinos are trying to obtain licensing. Only three licenses are up for grabs, and two will most likely go to existing casinos offering Class II gaming.
This leaves just one for the other operators to vie for. You have Hard Rock in the mix with Cohen, but Caesars, Las Vegas Sands, Thor Equities, Wynn Resorts, Bally’s, and other companies. The process is ongoing, and we will most likely see additional companies adding incentives or extra funds to their proposal to try to be the selected operator for full-scale casino gaming in NYC. In the coming weeks, we shall see which brand is picked for licensing in the state.