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Queens Casino Plan Doesn’t Have Much Local Support, Says Poll


Posted on: April 1, 2024, 12:25h. 

Last updated on: April 1, 2024, 02:29h.

There’s scant appetite for a casino in Queens, New York, according to a poll conducted at the request of New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos, the Democrat who represents a portion of the borough.

Citi Field Casino
New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens). A poll conducted at her request indicates limited support for a Queens casino. (Image: New York State Legislature)

Ramos recently said that she wanted more insight as to how her constituents feel about the proposed $8 billion Metropolitan Park project — an effort headed by New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International to turn the area around Citi Field into a sprawling entertainment complex, park, and gaming venue.

An unidentified donor to the politician shelled out $27,500 to Slingshot Strategies, which performed the poll.

“The pollsters asked 432 registered voters who live within her State Senate District 13 — which includes Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Woodside, and Astoria — between March 5 and March 10, starting with [the] favorability of local, state, and national politicians and their feelings on the city,” reported Katie Honan for The City.

Sixty one percent of those queried said they don’t want a Las Vegas-style casino anywhere in Queens and 75% said they find the idea of a gaming venue in the Citi Field neighborhood undesirable.

Ramos at Center of Queens Casino Debate

While some local politicians and business leaders support the Metropolitan Park plan, the fate of the project largely rests with Ramos.

Currently, the land on which the venue would be built, if approved, is designated as parkland. Under New York law, for that classification to be abandoned, it must be done through legislative channels. It’s Ramos’ district, meaning it’s unlikely that a colleague would step on her toes to introduce such a bill. To date, she hasn’t introduced such a bill and hasn’t signaled that she will change her tune.

Ramos said she’s waiting until May to decide on whether or not to introduce companion legislation in the State Senate to a bill unveiled last year by State Rep. Jeff Aubry (D-Queens).

The state senator added that getting a handle on how locals feel about the prospect of a gaming venue at Citi Field has been difficult because her three recent town halls in the district have been heavily attended by activists paid by supporters of the proposed casino.

Queens Could Wind Up with a Casino Anyway

Ramos could determine the fate of the Metropolitan Park project and while many of her constituents don’t want a casino anywhere in Queens, they might not get their wish.

The reason is that the slots-only Resorts World New York is located in the borough. Along with MGM Resorts International’s Empire City in Yonkers, Resorts World New York is widely viewed as one of the leading contenders to land one of the three downstate gaming permits that could be awarded in late 2025.

Speculation suggests the idea of a casino hotel in Manhattan has mixed support, indicating there could be momentum for allowing Resorts World New York to convert to a full-scale casino. That would serve the aim of keeping a gaming venue away from Citi Field, but not out of Queens.



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