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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

NY Post: Mets eye casino at Citi to help offset losses suffered in Bernie Madoff scandal

While team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are still having trouble opening their tight pockets for high-priced free agents, that didn’t stop their development arm, Sterling Equities, from betting on a proposal that called for bringing a massive casino with gaming tables and slots, a 500-room, full-service hotel, 1.8 million square feet of retail and other amenities to the Willets Point development site in Queens.

The Southampton-based Shinnecock Indian Nation signed on to operate the casino, and the Wilpons and partners even offered the city $100 million for the 62-acre site, according to the development team’s proposal, which was first obtained by project opponents Willets Point United and NYC Park Advocates.

bobm Posted: February 05, 2013 at 09:47 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gambling, mets, shocked

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   1. Flynn Posted: February 05, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4362946)
*eye roll*

The city should make it as hard as possible for the Mets to do business until the Wilpons sell the team.
   2. tshipman Posted: February 05, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4362956)
IMO, in NYC, a casino could operate at a much smaller scale and have a strictly high-roller clientele. 500 rooms and mostly slots will make money, but that's a pretty small operation and would not be able to subsidize any significant losses on the Mets part. TFA's reference to the proposed casino as "massive" seems highly inadequate. Massive has real meaning in the casino industry--there are no "massive" casinos opening in the United States over the next 10 years.

I would imagine that this has nothing to do with the Madoff deal and is just a bog standard real estate investment for Sterling.
   3. McCoy Posted: February 05, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4362962)
High rollers, smaller scale, and slots does not compute.
   4. formerly dp Posted: February 05, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4362980)
Thought this was an Onion article for a second, disappointed to find out it's not.
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4362989)
I bet someone pitched them that a casino is GUARANTEED to return 6-9% on their investment annually.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4362990)
This seems like it should be a plot on Parks and Rec or something.
   7. GregD Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4362995)
Thought this was an Onion article for a second, disappointed to find out it's not.
+1

The Wilpons would find ways to lose money on a casino
   8. fra paolo Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4362999)
Just when you think life cannot deliver a more apposite imitation of art, something else happens.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4363005)
High rollers, smaller scale, and slots does not compute.


At CitiCasino our business model is to cater to an elite clientele of wealthy people who are also uneducated, impulsive and fascinated by flashing lights and shiny things. The plan is to put the slot machines in the locker rooms.
   10. depletion Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4363019)
Fred is offering the Shinnecock Tribe $100M spread out over 130,000 years.
   11. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4363020)
I LOL'd at #9.
   12. Downtown Bookie Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4363040)
Count me with the others who thought this was an Onion article.

More to the point, why would Queens need another casino when they've already got one at Aqueduct?

DB
   13. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 05, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4363046)
Another step in the plan to phase the "baseball" part out of the Mets operation.
   14. Rough Carrigan Posted: February 05, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4363052)
#5 is underappreciated. Good one, Pops.
After being burned by a guarantee of 12%-14% the Wilpons would never suspect anything wrong with a slightly lower guarantee.
   15. MHS Posted: February 05, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4363064)
I very much enjoy a trip to the casino. With that said, the "Casino" at Acqueduct is the most depressing place on earth. What the articke is describing seems similiar, and thus feed on the natural synergies associated with the Mets brand.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4363068)
he "Casino" at Acqueduct is the most depressing place on earth.


95% of casinos on earth are depressing places. The only ones that aren't don't let you in unless you're wearing a tuxedo.

I say this, as a not infrueqent craps player.
   17. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4363079)
Count me in with the "Wait...this is real?" crowd.
   18. Benji Posted: February 05, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4363094)
If this means we never have to see that horrible casino ad they ran every inning last year (that ended with Celine Dion giving some sap a rose) it would be worth it. And it would go broke with those dipsticks running it.
   19. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 05, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4363112)
The Wilpons would find ways to lose money on a casino

"While we project losing money on each customer, our business plan revolves around recouping those losses through volume."
   20. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 05, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4363114)
So baseball wouldn't have a problem with the owners of a team running a casino? Didn't Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle get in trouble years ago for just being "greeters" at a casino in Atlantic City?
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4363122)
From TFA:

Although Sterling Equities wouldn’t directly operate or build the casino, any investment by the Mets’ owners in such a venture could raise eyebrows, considering Major League Baseball’s tough antigambling policies.

A league spokesman said that MLB would “need to get all of the details of the agreement” and that it would ultimately be Commissioner Bud Selig’s call.


From this 2006 article by noted blogger Murray Chass:

Nutting, a West Virginia resident and the chief executive of the Ogden newspaper chain, bought the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in western Pennsylvania earlier this year. His original idea was to build a casino of 500 slot machines at the ski resort, enhancing the resort and its revenue.

But he has abandoned his plan because baseball doesn’t permit a club owner to own or operate a casino.

“We withdrew the application for slot machines because the rules in baseball are very clear,” Nutting said yesterday by telephone. “Rather than try to come up with a structure that maybe would have subverted the intent, we thought it was appropriate to respect the intent of the rule and withdrew.”


It also says the Ilitch family (Tigers owner) has circumvented this rule by having Marian Ilitch (wife of the owner) own the holdings in the casino.
   22. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 05, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4363143)
The Ilitch's have there hands in many things so I doesnt bother me if they have a casino. They seem to run there teams at break moneywise
   23. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4363160)
95% of casinos on earth are depressing places.


Businesses built explicitly to draw in desperate addicts are depressing?
   24. Ron J2 Posted: February 05, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4363168)
#20 They ran into trouble with one particular (peculiar?) commissioner -- Bowie Kuhn -- and one of the first things Uberroth did on taking over was to rescind the ban.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: February 05, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4363186)
#20 They ran into trouble with one particular (peculiar?) commissioner -- Bowie Kuhn -- and one of the first things Uberroth did on taking over was to rescind the ban.


I was with Bowie on that one. If you're getting your checks signed by the gambling industry, you shouldn't be involved in MLB. Obviously things have changed, but I thought it was perfectly reasonable to put them on the ineligible list (I don't recall if it was supposed to be permanent, which I wouldn't support, or if it was just for the duration of their employment, which made sense to me).

   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4363242)
Now all we need is a sexy name for the casino.

"Mr. Burns' Casino"
   27. Ron J2 Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4363248)
#25 It wasn't permanent. It was structure so that they didn't even nedd to re-apply. The ban came off the moment they stopped working for the casinos.

And I'm with Uberroth here. It's only betting on baseball that's a (baseball related) sin.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4363268)
#25 It wasn't permanent. It was structure so that they didn't even nedd to re-apply. The ban came off the moment they stopped working for the casinos.


That's what I thought, and I thought then (and still think now, though I wouldn't think the same if it were to happen today) that it was the right decision.

You want to cash checks from the gaming industry, you take a break from MLB activities. There was no reason to make exceptions for Mickey or Willie because they were legends or their casino jobs were largely ceremonial. The clean break made perfect sense. I don't say it often, but Bowie got that one right.

And I'm with Uberroth here. It's only betting on baseball that's a (baseball related) sin.


If Bowie tried to make it permanent or yank them out of the Hall, then I'd agree. But none of that happened. Two guys went on the casino payroll and Bowie said they sit this out until that's over. Makes sense to me.

   29. Downtown Bookie Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4363286)
If Bowie tried to make it permanent or yank them out of the Hall, then I'd agree. But none of that happened. Two guys went on the casino payroll and Bowie said they sit this out until that's over. Makes sense to me.


Except the rule was never applied to those MLB owners (such as, to stay on topic, then-Mets owner Joyn Payson) who owned race horses.

DB
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4363297)
How does The Mob feel about this - unwelcome competition or opportunity to exploit?
   31. Walt Davis Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4363314)
How does The Mob feel about this - unwelcome competition or opportunity to exploit?

All part of the Wilpons' brilliant plan. If the Mets had actual good players, they would always be susceptible to extortion -- "gee, Mr. Wilpon, it would be a shame if Ryan Braun were to have a little accident." That sort of threat doesn't work when it's Justin Turner.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4363316)
As to baseball and gambling, casinos are now major advertisers in the ballparks and on local/regional radio/TV. It won't be long before something like this happens -- sure, probably some Illich-type setup to keep baseball technically out of it but dollars will in in the end.
   33. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 05, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4363355)
   34. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 05, 2013 at 07:31 PM (#4363468)
95% of casinos on earth are depressing places.
And badly run. I saw one from the road, thought I'd play a day and night of blackjack if the rules didn't excessively favor the house. I park, go in. No rules posted. No mention of payouts in the short how-to video. I asked a pit boss. He said no one ever asked before. Said he'd see if they could get me a copy. We make pleasant small talk for fifteen minutes. A guy arrives, whispers in his ear. No, the boss tells me pleasantly, they don't have printed copies, it seems.

Maybe I was too used to the straightforward way they do it in Las Vegas, but this struck me as incredibly amateurish, in a 'neither approach will cost us with the clueless, who will come anyway, but it'll tend to drive away anyone expecting a hint of professionalism' sort of way.'

I watched for a few minutes. Blackjack v. blackjack was a wash. Blackjack for the player paid 3 to 2. Dealer's discretion with 17. I was charmed not to play.

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