Cohen Poll Shows Strong Support for Queens Casino

A new poll conducted on behalf of New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Queens Future indicated there’s strong support in Senate District 13 for the $8 billion Metropolitan Park proposal, which includes a casino resort.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen. A poll conducted on his behalf indicates strong support for a Queens casino near Citi Field. (Image: New York Post)

Not only is that the New York State Senate district where Citi Field is located, it’s also the area represented by State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D). She’s the lawmaker that has yet to introduce legislation to remove the parkland designation of Willets Point β€” a move that’s viewed as essential for the Metropolitan Park project to move forward.

The poll conducted on behalf of Cohen and Queens Future showed 62% of registered voters in the district support the addition of a gaming venue there. That runs counter to a poll Slingshot Strategies on at the request of Ramos, which indicated 75% of those surveyed are opposed to a casino at Willets Point and 61% don’t want a gaming venue anywhere in Queens.

The Cohen poll also claimed 31% of those queried are less likely to vote for Ramos if she opposes the casino project compared to just 14% that said they’d be more likely to support her due to that opposition.

Explaining Discrepancies in Cohen, Ramos Polls

Compared to traditional political polls pitting two candidates against one another, the chasm between the Cohen and Ramos polls is exceptionally wide.

One reason for that is whom the polls surveyed. The Slingshot survey conducted on behalf of Ramos surveyed 423 people, all of whom live in Senate District 13. On the other hand, the Cohen surveyed asked the casino question of 600 Queens resident, just 250 of which live in that district.

Ramos has declined to identify which of her donors paid $27,500 for her poll, but the Queens Chronicle reported that Slingshot clients include Bally’s and Resorts World New York β€” both of which are competing with Cohen and Hard Rock International for one of the three downstate casino licenses expected to be awarded late next year.

Currently a slots-only venue, Resorts World New York is located in Queens and is rumored to be one of the leading contenders for one of three permits because the venue is established and operator Genting is pledging a $5 billion expansion should it be granted the ability to convert the property to a Las Vegas-style casino.

Cohen Poll Timing

Ramos’ poll was conducted between March 5 and 10 while the Cohen survey was performed between March 15 and 23. A representative for the Mets owner told the Queens Chronicle that the poll wasn’t a response to the similar effort by Ramos, but rather conducted because it had been awhile since they had done a temperature check on the casino idea.

Entities tied to Cohen have consistently tried to drum up support for the casino among local leaders and residents. New Green Willets LLC, the Cohen-backed group supporting the casino effort, has consistently said the $8 billion plan will be about much more than a casino. It will feature an entertainment and dining district designed to attract locals, as well as ample green space that will be open to the public.

In addition to job creation and tax revenue, Cohen groups previously said $1 billion in economic benefit from the casino will flow directly to the Queens community to support addiction treatment, youth programs, and more.

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