The competition for three new downstate casino licenses in New York has attracted significant interest from major industry players such as Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, and MGM Resorts International. With nearly a dozen bidders vying for the coveted licenses, it is evident that the potential for growth in the state’s gambling industry is substantial.

One notable bidder is Steve Cohen, the owner of the New York Mets, who recently announced his intention to build a casino near the team’s home stadium, Citi Field. Cohen aims to provide entertaining experiences for Mets fans before and after games, while also boosting interest in the area and attracting more visitors.

In a recent development, it was revealed that Cohen’s investment firm, Point72 Asset Management, has presented a comprehensive plan for the development of the area near Citi Field. The plan includes the construction of a multi-billion-dollar casino, as well as the addition of five acres of athletic fields and 20 acres of park space in the parking lots surrounding Citi Field. Additionally, the plan includes improvements to the Willets Point station for easier access, investments in senior and youth programs, and the provision of healthcare, legal, and immigration services for the community in the area, all with a projected cost of $8 billion.

Despite the potential benefits of the casino proposal, there are some concerns within the community. New York Sen. Jessica Ramos emphasized the importance of ensuring that community members are informed about the proposals and the implications of a new casino in their area. Sen. Ramos will play a key role in appointing members to a special community advisory committee that will have a say in the decision.

Steve Cohen’s acquisition of the Mets for $2.4 billion in 2021 has positioned him as a significant player in the New York sports and entertainment landscape. His ambitious plans for the development of the area near Citi Field signal his dedication to creating a vibrant and dynamic environment for both fans and the local community.

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