Mayor Adams said Tuesday that he hasn’t been paying any attention to the process that could bring three casinos to the New York metropolitan area — not long after a former top adviser reportedly inked a deal with one of the companies bidding for an operating license.
Adams was asked at a City Hall press conference whether he has any preference on which operators will get licenses to operate casinos in New York State. In response, he said he wants them in the city, but has not “been following this at all.”
“I have not been following the casino dance, because of my understanding it’s the Gaming Commission that’s going to make the ultimate decision,” he said. “I just think that we should have it somewhere here in the city. I have not been following this at all.”
Just hours before the press conference, Politico revealed that Adams’ former chief of staff, Frank Carone, inked a deal with Greenberg Traurig, the law firm representing commercial landlord SL Green in its bid to open a casino in Times Square with Caesars Entertainment and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
In a statement to the news outlet, Carone said he’ll help to create “a diversified community-engagement hiring plan as part of the proposal for a Times Square gaming destination.”
SL Green is one of several firms vying to secure one of three state casino licenses that are now up for grabs. Others proposals include plans to build casinos at long-vacant land near the United Nations, at former President Donald Trump’s golf course in the Bronx and near Citi Field in Queens.
Two of the three bids are expected to go to already-existing racinos now operating near Aqueduct in Queens and in Yonkers.
The news of Carone teaming up with SL Green comes months after the real estate giant sued Financial Vision Group, a health insurance investment business co-founded by Carone. In the lawsuit, SL Green claimed that Financial Vision had not paid rent on a 23rd-floor office in one of its buildings on Sixth Ave.
Last week, after a judge ruled that Financial Vision should cough up $726,000 as part of the case, Carone said he had no legal exposure in the matter.
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