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Filip Mishevski November 1, 2021 4 min read
Las Vegas Sands Is Reportedly Discussing Opening a Casino Near Citi Field
New York Mets’ owner Steve Cohen is discussing a potential casino next to Citi Field with Las Vegas Sands Corp., as reported by numerous people who claim to be familiar with the discussions. These people claim that discussions are still in the preliminary stage. Considering the fact that the matter was private, they were given anonymity.
At the moment, the state is in its early stages of exploring the idea of offering casino licenses in the New York area, meaning that a formal plan between the Mets’ owner and Las Vegas Sands would need several legislative and regulatory approvals.
No Information Was Given From Either Side
When they were asked on the matter, both sides decided not to comment. A spokesman of the Mets did not offer any comments on Cohen’s view of the situation when asked on the topic, while Las Vegas Sands did not reply to an email and a voice message.
The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) issued a 14-page information request earlier this month to increase the interest in the remaining three casino licenses in the downstate region in and around NYC. Responses are due on December 10, and one of the most daring moves that were made was by Hard Rock, which plans to open two casinos just eight miles apart from each other.
In the past couple of years, gaming and sports industries have grown a lot thanks to the fact that the US Supreme Court allowed states to regulate betting however they please. Some of the most prestigious leagues in the country, such as the MLB, NBA and the NFL, battled that lawsuit for many years, and after they turned out to be victorious, they quickly embraced the industry and all the money that came with it.
Recently, the Washington Capitals became the first major team from the US to include a sportsbook in its home venue. This is a sight that may become commonplace within the next few years. At the moment, legal sports betting in New York is only allowed at casinos.
The Mets Have a 99-Year Lease on Citi Field’s Land
Citi Field is owned by the Mets and this venue was opened in 2009 adjacent to the old Shea Stadium located in Flushing, Queens. Currently, the team has a 99-year lease to the land, including lots that are adjacent to the stadium and are being considered as potential sites for building casinos, according to the people.
Las Vegas Sands, on the other hand, is one of the biggest casino and resort operators in the country and was founded by Sheldon Adelson, the late billionaire. It has eight properties, including the Sands Expo and the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. Moreover, it employs 50,000 people around the globe.
Casino gaming in New York State was legalized 10 years ago. The license structure put a priority on facilities in upstate communities located far from NYC. The bidding process resulted in 4 casino licenses while the other three were left for future development.
These three licenses will cover Nassau, New York City and Long Island’s Suffolk counties – the downstate locations. Putnam, Westchester and Rockland are also included.
Earlier this month, The New York Post reported that casino operators were interested in locations in the vicinity of Long Island’s Belmont Park, Citi Field, as well as Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood. The groups that are interested in these locations are Las Vegas Sands, Wynn, Bally’s Corp., as well as Genting, the casino operator based in Malaysia. Belmont Park in Long Island is home to the new arena of the New York Islanders and a racetrack.
There are a number of tribal casinos and racinos in New York. In the upstate region, there are additional four casinos – Rivers Casino & Resort (Schenectady), Del Lago Resort and Casino (Tyre), Resorts World Catskills (Kiamesha Lake) and Tioga Downs (Tioga). All of these facilities are at least 90 miles from New York City.