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No Pesky Lawmaker Will Stand Between Steve Cohen and His Casino Dream

The Mets owner will not let a state lawmaker rain on his roulette tables.

Purple spring flowers.

(Hell Gate)

Mets owner Steve Cohen so badly wants to build a casino in the Citi Field parking lot that he's willing to override the wishes of the local state senator to make it happen.

According to a Politico story that dropped over the weekend, Cohen is redoubling his efforts to garner community support for "Metropolitan Park," his name for the $8 billion "entertainment complex" that includes a public park and improvements to the 7 train subway stop and, oh yeah, a Hard Rock casino. With a new petition, Cohen is placing special emphasis on convincing Queens residents that their borough needs yet another gambling facility because State Senator Jessica Ramos is increasingly skeptical of the plan. Recently, Ramos released a poll that showed that a majority of her constituents don't want a casino. Cohen needs Ramos on board to help get state legislation passed because the Citi Field parking lot is technically state parkland, and needs to be re-designated in order to host a giant building filled with roulette wheels and sad people.

But Cohen has a plan B. "Cohen is already considering ways to work around Ramos if she ends up opposing the bill, according to three people familiar with the strategy who spoke on the condition of anonymity as conversations are continuing," Politico reported:

The move would entail persuading the state Senate to approve the bill without her, particularly through outreach to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and possibly Bronx state Sen. Nathalia Fernandez, who is being courted to give a similar approval to a Bally’s casino proposal in the Bronx.

"For two years, we’ve worked closely with the community and our local elected officials, including Senator Ramos, as we’ve developed a vision for Metropolitan Park, and we will continue to do so," [Cohen spokesperson] Ricket said in a statement to POLITICO. "If she ultimately chooses not to introduce legislation in this session, we have both time and multiple pathways to get this done."

Ramos told the outlet that she hasn't heard from Cohen since the results of her poll were released on April 1, and that she is "much more interested in hearing the feedback from my neighbors."

While Cohen is just one of the many obscenely rich people attempting to get even richer by obtaining a downstate casino license, perhaps New York State is due for a legalized gambling backlash. New Yorkers wagered $16 BILLION dollars on mobile sportsbetting in 2023—more than any other state in the country—which brought in $1.7 billion in revenue. You cannot watch a professional sports game on television without seeing multiple advertisements to gamble money. While the revenue from the casino licenses will go to fund New York City's transit system, there are other, less regressive methods to raise money to benefit society that are extremely popular with the public. But we'll bet that New York is gonna learn this lesson the hard way.

More lucky links to start your week:

  • Last week, the Adams administration fired the executive director ofat the Office of the Prevention of Hate Crimes, Hassan Naveed, who told the Daily News that he believes he was fired because he is Muslim, and that he plans to sue. A spokesperson for the Adams administration responded: "Following an analysis, it was determined that the important mission of this office should be led by someone who puts bringing hate crimes down first and themself second."
  • Forest Hills Stadium must pipe the fuck down.
  • If you are spending $275 on a bus ticket to the Hamptons, you should also be buying a Believer subscription to Hell Gate. You can afford it!
  • The New York Times naturally singles out a Columbia student who once said that Zionists "don't deserve to live." That student later apologized and recanted their statement.
  • Columbia University insists they won't call in the goon squad on their own students again.
  • Eric Adams has nothing to hide, which is why he has hired an expensive, aggressive litigation team to defend him from all of these bogus allegations. 
  • CUNY is destroying affordable housing for students so they can throw up a "science center."
  • One year after Jordan Neely was choked to death on the subway, the state legislature is weighing whether to make assaulting a homeless New Yorker a hate crime.
  • There's an Ice Crisis in Montauk.
  • The Brooklyn Democratic Party is functioning great, why do you ask?
  • Meta AI is functioning great, why do you ask?
  • Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says she flipped out on a cop who pulled her over for going 55 mph in a 35 mph zone because she was stressed out.
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