Update, 6:58 p.m.: The New York City Economic Development Corporation has responded strongly to the rumor that Mets owner Fred Wilpon wants to see a casino near Citi Field.
"There is no casino being built at Willets Point, period. A proposal in 2011 that included a gaming use was rejected. And the agreement with the Queens Development Group to clean up and transform this long-blighted area into a dynamic, mixed-use district expressly prohibits any gaming uses," said Nick Kelly of the NYC EDC. "We look forward to continuing the public approvals process for this critical project that will remediate over 20 acres of toxic land and create thousands of jobs, hundreds of affordable housing units and billions in economic activity."
We knew Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon liked to gamble with his money — remember Madoff? — but this is ridiculous.
According to a report in the New York Post, the team's current ownership group is interested in putting a casino adjacent to Citi Field to help fund the operation of the Mets.
After a settlement of damages stemming from the Bernie Madoff-led Ponzi sceme, the Mets have struggled to make ends meet. At one point, the Amazin's even had to take a loan from Major League Baseball to pay the bills.
So their latest bright idea is to let everybody else do the gambling to fund the team.
According to the Post, the Shinnecock Indian Tribe of Long Island is interested in operating the casino, making it legal to include live dealer tables, rather than the types of video poker and games played at other New York state casinos.
No word yet on what MLB — a notoriously gambling-averse organization — thinks about the plan.
If the Mets manage to pull an inside straight and get their plan approved, it would be the second casino in Queens — competing with Resorts World at Aqueduct.