Jay-Z, Mets’ Cohen and others in feud over NYC casino license

Five of New York City’s billionaires gamble in the Big Apple.

Each is vying for a single license to open a legal casino in New York City. Technically, three licenses are offered for Downstate, but two of the licenses are expected to go to Ghenting Resorts World at Aqueduct and MGM-Empire City Yonkers (established, successful “racinos” that continue from table games such as blackjack and paigow poker) .

Mets owner Steve Cohen, real estate scion Stefan Soloviev, Gristedes CEO John Catsimatidis, Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross and music mogul Jay-Z are all pursuing this license to make money.

A source in the casino business told The Post: “Every billionaire wants a casino. The epitome of success in the US is owning your own casino.”

Here are the five wannabe bosses and their plans to beat the competition:

Mets owner Steve Cohen is pushing for a casino at Citi Field.  Jay-Z wants Times Square, Stephen Ross wants Hudson Yards, Stefan Soloviev has his eye on properties near the UN and John Catsimatidis is eyeing Coney Island.
Mets owner Steve Cohen is pushing for a casino at Citi Field. Jay-Z wants Times Square, Stephen Ross wants Hudson Yards, Stefan Soloviev has his eye on properties near the UN and John Catsimatidis is eyeing Coney Island.
Mike Guillen/NY Post
Stephen Ross.
In 2008, Ross acquired 95 percent of the Miami Dolphins for $1 billion.
Getty Images

Player: Stephen Ross

net worth: $8.39 billion

Location: Hudson Yards, which was developed by Ross through his company Related

Ross is no stranger to betting big – or losing big. In 2008, he bought 95 percent of the Miami Dolphins for $1 billion. Last year he divorced jewelry designer Kara Ross after 18 years. A legal source told the Post the split could have cost him as much as $300 million.

But that payout pales in comparison to what it will cost Ross through his affiliates if he, CEO Jeff Blau and President Bruce Beal get their way. First off, the application alone costs $1 million. If approved, you’ll have to shell out $500 million for the license.

Then there’s the $700,000 Ross donated to Kathy Hochul’s gubernatorial campaign last year, which is seen as a wise investment.

Ross, 82, has teamed up with Wynn Resorts, a top casino company with outposts in Las Vegas, Macau and Boston. “They will generate the most revenue for the city,” a source familiar with the project told The Post. “They don’t worry about their competitors. It’s about what they can do compared to the competition tip to do.”

At least one of the competitors remains calm. “Hudson Yards hasn’t lived up to its potential,” Stefan Soloviev told The Post. “Hudson Yards should focus on the promises it has made for middle-income housing and green space rather than building a casino.”

Odds: 4-1 “If I had to have a casino in Manhattan, Hudson Yards would be where I want it,” Alan Woinski, president of casino consultancy Gaming USA, told The Post. “And it helps that they partner with Wynn Resorts, one of the most successful casino companies.”

Stefan Soloviev.
Stefan Soloviev is the son of the late Powerplayer developer Sheldon Solow.
Madison Voelkel/BFA.com

Player: Stefan Soloviev

net worth: $4.4 billion

Location: Just south of UN – First Avenue between 38th and 40th streets

The son of the late Power Player developer Sheldon Solow, Soloviev is known for being tough on his business deals – and reportedly on the home front.

Earlier this year, the 47-year-old made headlines when nannies who looked after some of his 20 children – yes, 20 – called Soloviev a “time bomb”, while another Business Insider said the gig was “eight days”. in hell.”

Soloviev declined to speak about the allegations, telling The Post: “This is a business interview.”

Acknowledging that his opponents are “savvy businessmen,” Soloviev said that he and his company’s CEO, Michael Hershman, “are smart enough to know that politics is involved, but we’re not going to play the political game.” . There were lobbyists and [political] posts. Happens. We hope politicians will realize that our project is not just a casino.”

Stefan Soloviev's bid for the license would have a casino, a hotel and a democracy museum - as well as a Ferris wheel similar to the London Eye - on two acres south of the UN.
Stefan Soloviev’s bid for the license would have a casino, a hotel and a democracy museum – as well as a Ferris wheel similar to the London Eye – on two acres south of the UN.
The Soloviev Group

Soloviev told the Post that he was involved with Las Vegas Sands Corp. is in talks as a potential partner. Sands owns The Venetian in Las Vegas and Macau.

He hopes to build a casino on five acres of blank slate just south of the United Nations campus and overlooking the East River that he described as “shovel ready.” He expects a luxury Ferris wheel – similar to the London Eye – as well as green spaces, underground gaming (“Casinos don’t have windows because they don’t want people to know if it’s day or night”) and a museum dedicated to democracy. “With the rise of authoritarianism, we felt it was important,” Hershman said of the museum.

“We’re not looking at a Las Vegas-style building,” he added, although the gambling den will include a hotel.

But a source told The Post that travel to and from the proposed casino near the UN will be a nightmare: “It will be like the UN General Assembly has 52 weeks a year.”

Odds: 1,000-1 without casino partners; 3-1 if Soloviev partners with Las Vegas Sands Corp.

“This guy has no idea about casinos. But if Sands gets involved, I’ll take a much closer look,” Woinski said. “[Sands’] Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is the most successful casino in the world.”

Steve Cohen.
Steve Cohen once paid Guy Fieri “$100,000 to be his friend for a day.”
Getty Images

Player: Steve Cohen

net worth: $12.8 billion

Location: Citi Field, home of the Mets — which Cohen bought in 2020

Steve Cohen, hedge fund billionaire and NY Mets owner, gives himself big money. According to the book From Scratch, Cohen once “paid Guy Fieri $100,000 to be his friend for a day.” It included the spiky-haired chef directing a fantasy episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Cohen wielding a shotgun. He has amassed an art collection worth $1 billion and has made about $1.7 million in political donations along with his wife Alexandra.

And then, of course, there’s his $2.4 billion New York Mets purchase and spending spree ($102 million for Edwin Díaz, $162 for outfielder Brandon Nimmo) that’s part of Cohen’s quest until To snag a World Series title in 2027.

Cohen has now teamed up with Hard Rock International – which operates 14 casinos in the US, Canada and the Dominican Republic – and is hoping to find a casino strategically located in the parking lot of his team’s Citi Field near a proposed NYCFC football stadium worth $1,000 To be able to place 780 million US dollars.

Mets owner Steve Cohen is working with Hard Rock to build a casino near Citi Field and the proposed NYCFC football stadium in Flushing Meadows.
Mets owner Steve Cohen is working with Hard Rock to build a casino near Citi Field and the proposed NYCFC football stadium in Flushing Meadows.
S9 architecture

Cohen, 66, proved he can get what he wants by overcoming Bill de Blasio’s attempt to seal his Mets deal. When the former mayor wanted the team to transition to Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, he touted Cohen as a “banned person” because his former hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to insider trading in 2013.

Meanwhile, a competitor knocks Cohen down for other reasons.

“Aqueduct already has casinos [eight miles away from Citi Field]’ said Soloviev. “Citi Field doesn’t make sense.”

Cohen’s rep did not respond to requests for comment.

Odds: 3-1 “Steve Cohen will spend more money than anyone,” Woinski said. “He likes to do whatever it takes to get what he wants.”

John Catsimatidis.
Gristede’s CEO and WABC owner/talk show host John Catsimatidis approaches the billionaire casino brawl with trepidation.
Getty Images for national food

Player: John Catsimatidis

net worth: $4.1 billion

Location: Coney Island

John Catsimatidis, a consummate New Yorker, Gristedes CEO and WABC owner/talk show host, approaches the billionaire casino brawl with trepidation.

“We are not an official bidder at this time,” Catsimatidis told The Post. “We have some interest and are proceeding cautiously.”

If the food billionaire makes the jump to Coney Island, he might not have any trouble figuring out the casino’s security and surveillance.

Catsimatidis, 74, who works closely with private investigator Bo Dietl, also knows a thing or two about facial recognition software. Not only was it briefly used to combat shoplifting at a Gristedes, he also used Clearview AI software to screen a suitor of his daughter Andrea.

As for the prospects for a casino in Nathan’s Hot Dog country, one source offered a major critique: “How do you get 40,000 people a day to Coney Island? Traffic is already insane … and scheduled ferry service from downtown and midtown has been canceled “for reasons like windblown sand. “It would be difficult for a casino to function.”

Odds: 90-1 “[Catsimatidis] hasn’t named a casino partner yet and is running out of people,” Woinski said. “I don’t think Coney Island is completely out of the question, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.”

Jay Z
The rap mogul has teamed up with real estate company SL Green – which claims to be NYC’s largest commercial landlord – and Caesars Entertainment.
Getty Images for 40/40 Club

Player: Jay Z

net worth: $1.5 billion

Location: Times Square

Considering what Jay-Z has ahead of him – including his own music career, label Roc-A-Fella Records, Rocawear clothing, Armand di Brignac champagne and Monogram cannabis – You must be wondering why the 53-year-old would enter the gambling business.

“You can have as many yachts and private jets as you want, but a casino is a great incentive to keep doing business,” a source told The Post. “You can impress your business associates… by giving them free chips, throwing private parties, and putting them in your best rooms.”

Jay-Z teams up with Caesars to bring a casino to Times Square, much to the chagrin of the Broadway League.
Jay-Z teams up with Caesars to bring a casino to Times Square, much to the chagrin of the Broadway League.
SL green

The rap mogul has teamed up with real estate firm SL Green – which claims to be NYC’s largest commercial landlord – and Caesars Entertainment, which already owns or works with more than 50 casinos in the US, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

“Hopefully Jay … can handle residencies like Adele’s in Las Vegas,” a source close to the project told The Post. “It would make the casino a full-fledged entertainment destination with a lot of New York swagger.”

Odds: 10-1 “They have a lot of resistance,” said Woinski of Jay-Z and SL Green. “You have to get past the Broadway League [the trade group, which includes theater owners and producers, has warned a casino will be “disruptive to theater goers”]. A casino might be the last thing Times Square needs. They want a place where the casino is the main attraction.”

https://nypost.com/2022/12/17/jay-z-mets-cohen-others-brawl-over-nyc-casino-license/ Jay-Z, Mets’ Cohen and others in feud over NYC casino license

JACLYN DIAZ

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