Queens Residents Reject Proposed Casino in Latest Poll


Residents of Queens, New York, have voiced their deep-rooted disapproval for a proposed casino in their neighborhood, reveals a recent poll commissioned by New York State Senator Jessica Ramos. Elected as the Democrat representative for a section of the borough, Ramos has an essential role to play in shaping this narrative further.

Ramos expressed her interest in understanding her elector’s sentiments about the grand $8 billion Metropolitan Park project. An ambitious undertaking, it is planned and headed by New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International. The intention behind the project is to revolutionize the current area around Citi Field, transforming it into a vibrant entertainment complex, park, and gaming venue.

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Contributions from an unidentified donor amounting to $27,500 backed the poll, conducted by Slingshot Strategies. It analyzed responses from 432 registered voters residing in State Senate District 13, which includes Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Woodside, and Astoria.

The poll results disclosed a telling picture, with 61% of respondents expressing their disapproval for a Las Vegas-style casino anywhere in Queens. The figures climbed when they were asked about a prospective gaming venue in the vicinity of Citi Field – 75% rejected it outright.

Ramos finds herself at the center of this ongoing debate. The premises currently considered for the proposed venue is officially labeled as parkland. Under New York law, renouncing such classification must be done through legislative proceedings, the path to which runs through Ramos’ district. While she has not indicated any inclination towards introducing such bills in the legislature, the pressure for her to put her weight behind the proposal is mounting.

Ramos hasn’t closed the door on this situation yet. Instead, she has decided to bide her time until May, planning on whether she should accompany State Rep. Jeff Aubry in passing a similar bill to the one he proposed last year.

Interestingly though, locals’ sentiments may not translate into a decisive verdict against the casino. The existence of the slot-only Resorts World New York in the borough suggests that a transition to a full-fledged casino is a plausible eventuality. Alongside MGM Resorts International’s Empire City in Yonkers, it stands as a strong contender for one of three downstate gaming permits slated for awarding in late 2025.

Debate lingers around the idea of a casino hotel in Manhattan, penciling in the possible momentum for Resorts World New York’s transition into a comprehensive casino. While this move assists in keeping the controversial gaming venue away from Citi Field, it does little to quell objections against its existence within Queens. Hence the tension continues, putting Ramos in a tricky position to tread the path between proposed development and dissenting public opinion.