Majority Support for $8 Billion Metropolitan Park Casino, Poll Reveals


In an exciting development for New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, and his partner Queens Future, recent data suggests a significant support within Senate District 13 for their grand $8 billion Metropolitan Park proposal, which includes a stand-out feature: a stunning casino resort. For those unfamiliar, this district is not just any random location; it beautifully nestles Citi Field, the Mets’ home ground. It’s also the constituents of State Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democratic party member. Surprisingly, she hadn’t yet paved the way to treat Willets Point — a key player in the Metropolitan Park project— not as a parkland anymore. However, the legislative change is considered crucial for the project’s progression.

The survey, conducted with meticulous rigor on behalf of Cohen and Queens Future, has brought some attention-arresting facts to the fore. It revealed that an impressive 62% of district’s registered voters are warming towards the casino concept. This result goes against another poll commissioned by Ramos through Slingshot Strategies, which found a starkly different consensus. Their findings suggested that a substantial 75% of respondents stood against establishing a casino at Willets Point. An almost similar majority, estimated to be 61%, resisted the idea of having any gaming venue in Queens at all.

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Not shying away from throwing another curveball, Cohen’s poll went on to assert that if Ramos turns against the casino project, the likelihood of her losing support from 31% of the respondents may be high. This sharply contrasts with only 14% who admitted they’d possibly stand behind her more due to her opposition against the casino.

To understand this glaring discrepancy between the Cohen and Ramos polls, one must look at the polling demographics. Ramos’ survey was preached to 423 individuals, all residents of Senate District 13. In contrast, Cohen’s poll extended its reach to 600 individuals, incorporating a wider sphere including Queens residents, with merely 250 residing in the district in question.

Adding another twist to the tale, Ramos has held back the identities of the donors who chipped in a sizable $27,500 for her poll. However, it was reported by The Queens Chronicle that Slingshot’s clientele includes names that directly compete with Cohen and Hard Rock International for one of the three coveted downstate casino licenses — Bally’s and Resorts World New York.

In the current scheme of things, Resorts World New York, situated in Queens, is a slots-only entity having a stake in the race of securing one of the three permits. The buzz is that the competition might see the property emerge as a frontrunner, thanks to operator Genting’s commitment towards a $5 billion expansion if the green light is given to morph its entity into a Las Vegas-style casino.

To underline the timeline, Ramos’ poll was executed between March 5 and 10, while Cohen’s poll occupied March 15-23. A spokesperson for Cohen clarified that their survey wasn’t a reaction to Ramos’, but a much-needed temperature check on the casino proposition since no recent data had been collected.

Cohen, in line with his agenda, has relentlessly endeavored to convert the local leaders and residents into casino supporters. New Green Willets LLC, a Cohen-backed consortium endorsing the casino venture, firmly believes that the $8 billion blueprint extends beyond a mere casino. They envision it as a hub, bustling with entertainment and culinary delights, intended for the locals’ amusement, generously sprinkled with ample greenery for public enjoyment.

Not just eyeing employment opportunities and tax revenue, the Cohen-affiliates have projected that the Queens community stands to gain directly $1 billion in economic windfall from the casino, meant to bolster essential services like addiction treatment, youth programs, and more.