New York’s Citi Field Adding Gambling Lounge

Excited Man Pointing to a Baseball Glove Filled With Money

After years of being left out, New York is quickly becoming one of the biggest sports betting markets. The Empire State has allowed sports betting since 2019. However, it was not until January of this year that bettors could place wagers online. In just five weeks, New Yorkers wagered nearly $2.5 billion at online sportsbooks.

Now, following the lead of other New York stadiums, Citi Field is adding an onsite sportsbook. According to a joint statement, the Mets and Caesars Entertainment announced a new partnership. As part of the deal, Caesars will be able to build a sports betting lounge at Citi Field. They will also be the official sports betting partner of the Mets.

Team owner Steve Cohen does not want to stop there. Cohen has been lobbying local politicians, including NYC Mayor Eric Adams, to build a casino across from Citi Field. Despite Cohen’s best efforts, a new casino may not be in the cards.

Currently, New York Legislators are attempting to come to an agreement on a new budget. It is widely believed that the budget will include three new casino licenses to be issued. However, two of those licenses would likely go to gaming operators already in the state. If that proves true, that would leave room for only one more casino in the whole state.

Citi Field Partners With Caesars for Sportsbook Lounge

Since launching mobile sportsbooks, New York’s sports betting market has exploded. In just three months, sports betting operators have earned a sports betting handle of nearly $5 billion. So far, FanDuel, Caesars, and DraftKings have been leading the way.

To take advantage of legalized sports betting, many sports venues across the US have partnered with sportsbooks. Citi Field announced this week that they would be doing the same. With the Mets agreeing to a partnership with Caesars, a sports betting lounge will be coming to Citi Field. There has not been any information released yet regarding the financial details of the deal.

According to reports, Caesars plans to build a 13,000 square foot venue at Citi Field. The sportsbook lounge is expected to open during the MLB regular season. It will be located on the Excelsior Level at the Metro Grille. The sports betting lounge will have an outdoor patio and a multi-level dining room.

Fans will benefit not only from the lounge but also from using their Caesar Rewards points. The partnership will allow fans to use their reward points to access VIP experiences and more. Unfortunately, the site will not be a retail sportsbook and will not accept bets. Instead, bettors will have to place wagers using the Caesars’ mobile betting app.

Owner Wants to Add Casino as Well

Adding a sports betting lounge would be enough for many owners. However, Mets’ owner Steven Cohen wants to take it a step further. Cohen has reportedly been lobbying with New York politicians for a casino to be built across from Citi Field. Cohen has identified Willets Point, a 61-acre piece of land near the Mets’ stadium, as the site for the casino.

While approval of the new licenses is likely, Cohen would need to partner with a casino developer to get one. Reportedly, Las Vegas Sands has been in contact with Cohen about the project.

Cohen’s net worth is close to $12 billion, so his pockets are plenty deep enough to help finance the project. He has used his wealth so far to start lobbying for the casino. Also, he was a major contributor to Mayor Adam’s campaign for office last year.

Many believe that Cohen was instrumental in Adam’s decision to lift the vaccine mandate for professional athletes. To help lobby local politicians, Cohen has financed New Green Willets. The firm paid a total of $40,000 to lobbying firms to press legislators on gambling issues.

New York Could Expand Gaming Options Soon

Currently, New York’s gaming laws would only allow for three more casino licenses to be issued. However, those licenses are not supposed to be issued until 2023. Many gaming proponents have been pushing for the casino licenses to be handed out a year early. According to reports, approval for the early release is expected to be part of the state’s new fiscal year budget.

The budget was supposed to be approved by the deadline last Friday. However, it was delayed due to non-gambling-related issues. Officials are also expected to approve seven new sports betting licenses.

Many experts expect MGM Resorts and Resorts World to be given two of the licenses. If so, that would allow Empire City Casino and Resorts World New York City to add new betting options. Specifically, the venues would be able to retail sportsbooks and table games. Currently, both venues are limited to only offering real money slot machines.

With MGM and Resorts World penciled in for two of the licenses, that only leaves one left. Many believe there will be at least three casino brands bidding for the last license. The casinos believed to be in the running are Wynn Resorts, Bally’s, and Las Vegas Sands. Bally’s is owned by Caesars Entertainment, which already has a widespread sports betting presence in New York.

Conclusion

It took years to get here, but the New York gaming market has quickly built momentum. After legalizing mobile sportsbooks in January, the Empire State has already become one of the biggest sports betting markets. Many New York sports teams are looking to take advantage by teaming up with licensed sportsbooks.

The newest team-sportsbook partnership is between the Mets and Caesars Entertainment. A joint statement was released earlier this week announcing the partnership. As part of the deal, Caesars will be allowed to build a sports betting lounge at Citi Field. It is expected to open later this MLB season. But team owner Steve Cohen does not want to stop there.

Cohen has been lobbying local officials for a casino to be built across from Citi Field. To do so, Cohen would need to partner with a licensed casino in the state. Legislators are expected to approve the release of the final three New York casino licenses as part of the fiscal budget. However, two of the licenses may already be earmarked for existing gambling establishments.