You Can Build Your Casino, Just Not in Manhattan, Shelly Silver Says, and Maybe a Queens Soccer Stadium, Too

A Javits casino? Don’t bet on it. (Inhabitat)

After years of opposition, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has decided to roll the dice on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s dream of opening a casino in New York City. There is just one house rule, according to the Daily New‘s Albany bureau chief Ken Lovett: not in my backyard. (He’s just as parochial as his constituents!)

The locations Silver is open to a casino include Coney Island—where Borough President Marty Markowitz desperately wants onethe new Mets megamall at Willets Point and the so-far-failed plans for one at Aqueduct. But proposals like Times Square and at a rejiggered Javits Center are definitely out.

Some insiders want a casino to be part of a redevelopment of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on the West Side. But Silver remains adamant about keeping gambling dens out of Manhattan and other densely populated parts of the city, the source said.

Lovett’s source claims “one or two other sites (in the city) could pop up as we move forward,” and it also remains quite possible no casino could win the support of the Legislature.

Meanwhile, another Albany bureau chief, the Post‘s Fred Dicker, reveals that the Legislature is willing to alientate land in Flushing Meadows (an act that always requires state approval) to make way for an MLS soccer pitch to be built there.

This would be a boon for the Mets megamall, but another loss for the West Side of Manhattan, where it was hoped an MLS stadium might help prop up a collapsing Pier 40, along with the rest of the funds-starved Hudson River Park. So much for that.