The New York Mets recently sent a proposal to the New York City Economic Development Corporation that suggested a plan to build a casino, of Las Vegas proportions, right next to Citi Field, which is the home field of the Mets. The group rejected the plan, according to a recent report by the New York Post.
Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the owners of the Mets, had their real estate company, Sterling Equities, create the original proposal for the casino. The proposal stated a ‘massive casino with gaming tables and slots, a 500-room, full service hotel, 1.8 million square feet of retail and amenities to the Willets Point Development site in Queens.”
It was in September 2011, that the proposal was first pitched and $100 million was offered to purchase 62 acres of land for development of the casino. It was stated that the Shinnecock Indian Nation would operate the casino but the table gaming options would have been impossible since New York does not allow live dealer casinos except those located on tribal lands.
Both Wilpon and Katz had the plans drawn up for the casino to try and recoup funds they lost from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. The owners were connected to the scheme and ended up losing around $162 million in a settlement.
Earlier this week, the Economic Development Corporation decided to grant 23 of the 62 acres of land to be used for a retail and entertainment complex that will cost $3 billion to build. However the entertainment venue portion will not contain a casino. The casino was pulled from the plan due to the estimated long approval process that would be needed by the government.
A spokesperson for the group spoke with the New York Post and commented: “The submission that included a gaming use was quickly dismissed as unviable. A different plan is not moving through the approvals process for a project that will create a dynamic new destination, hundreds of units of affordable housing, and thousands of jobs.”