Email blunder raises tensions in New York casino race

Long Island sign at Gantry Plaza State Park

An accidental email has heightened tensions in the race for a New York casino license. [Image:]

Tracy, Tracey, same thing

We’ve all been there and accidentally clicked “Reply All” or “Send” without realizing that the wrong address was included in the email. Even the highest-paid professionals do it, as the recent drama in the race for one of three casino licenses in New York state proves.

According to an article in The New York TimesMichael McKeon (not to be confused with “Better Call Saul” star Michael McKean), a lobbyist for New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, accidentally sent an email to Tracey Edwards, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility officer at Sands New York as Edward Tracy, CEO of Hard Rock Asia. The Jan. 5 email also went to Cohen’s chief of staff Michael Sullivan and Sean Caffery, senior VP of business & casino development for Hard Rock, the company with which Cohen was involved in an $8 billion bid for a casino and casino development Mets entertainment complex. Citi Field.

speaking to Hofstra University officials

In the email, McKeon let his colleagues know that he had spoken with officials at Hofstra University, which has opposed a Las Vegas Sands proposal for a casino next to campus.

“I am checking with Hofstra to see if they will oppose this move,” McKeon wrote.

Sands proponents capitalized on this error

And with that the fireworks began. Within a week, News day, Long Island’s local newspaper, got the email and reported on it. Susan Poser, president of Hofstra University, said Newsday’s According to the editors, she had no contact with McKeon or Cohen’s team.

“We have not communicated with any of the proposed New York casino developers or their agents, nor are we aware that anyone at Hofstra has communicated with them, with the exception of Las Vegas Sands, with whom President Poser had meetings over a year.” a Hofstra spokeswoman added.

Nevertheless, Howard J. Kopel, the new chairman of the Nassau County Legislature, issued subpoenas to Poser on January 16, a few days later News day Piece. The next day, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman held a news conference to rail against what he saw as possible collusion. Both Kopel and Blakeman support a Sands casino on Long Island.

The fists were clenched tightly

Those like Kopel upset about the email have questioned whether conversations between Cohen’s team and Hofstra would even be legal. Bennett Liebman, a government lawyer at Albany Law School, said Just that there is probably nothing illegal about it, even if it is perceived as unethical.

The state prohibits collusion between competitors, but in this case it is not two competitors supposedly talking to each other. It is a candidate for a casino license and a third party that could be directly affected by a competitor’s casino.

I don’t think it’s really a valid legal argument.”

“It’s a nice talking point, but I don’t think it’s really a valid legal argument,” Liebman said.

There are three casino licenses available for New York state, although most insiders expect MGM Empire City Casino and Resorts World Casino, which only house electronic slot machines, to receive two. This leaves an extremely valuable license remaining. In addition to Cohen/Hard Rock and Sands, possible proposals include a Jay-Z-backed Times Square casino and a Bally’s property at the former Trump Golf Links in Ferry Point (now Bally’s Golf Links).


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