NYC lobbyists hit $131M jackpot as they push for casinos, pro soccer field

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New York lobbyists have hit the jackpot alongside a push to open casinos within the Massive Apple — raking in bundles as they attempt to woo Mayor Eric Adams and council members, a new city report reveals.

Compensation for lobbyists shot up 8% final 12 months — up from $121.15 million in 2022 to $130.96 million, in accordance with the annual examine ready by the Metropolis Clerk’s Workplace, which regulates the lobbying trade.

Entities tied to Mets billionaire owner Steve Cohen and Seminole Exhausting Rock Leisure led the cost — spending greater than $2 million mixed on a secure of lobbyists final 12 months as they unveiled a sprawling $8 billion on line casino, resort and music venue dubbed “Metropolitan Park” of vacant tons subsequent to CitiField.

New York lobbyists obtained a push to open casinos in New York. S9 Structure
The $8 billion on line casino, resort and music venue are named “Metropolitan Park.” supplied

The Cohen corporations — New Inexperienced Willets and Queens Future — spent $946,809 and $450,000 respectively, or practically $1.4 million mixed, in accordance with the report.

His corporations retained seven totally different lobbying outfits together with:

  • former Bronx Democratic Occasion chairman Marco Crespo;
  • former Queens Councilman Julissa Ferrera-Copeland/Hollis Public Affairs;
  • the Mirram Group, headed by former Bronx Democratic chief Roberto Ramirez and Luis Miranda — the daddy of playwright Lin Manuel-Miranda;
  • Moonwalk Methods, co-founded by Jenny Sedlis, who beforehand ran a pro-Eric Adams Tremendous Pac and pro-charter college group, and the Tusk Group headed Bradley Tusk, who labored for former Mayor Mike Bloomberg. 

Seminole Exhausting Rock, Cohen’s gaming associate, spent $660,000 on lobbying for the undertaking — with $540,000 going to the lobbyists with the agency Actum Ca Opc and Inexperienced E-book Methods, run by husband-wife duo, Austin and Jennifer Shafran.

In the meantime in a undertaking subsequent door to Cohen’s proposed undertaking, CFG Stadium Group spent $540,000 to win approval to construct the Massive Apple’s first ever soccer stadium in Willets Level for the York Metropolis Soccer Membership. 

Companies included Tusk Group headed Bradley Tusk, who labored for former Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Getty Photographs for TechCrunch

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joked that he’s grow to be widespread given the lobbying on financial improvement projection in Queens, significantly at Willets Level with the on line casino proposal and soccer stadium deal.

“I actually haven’t any scarcity of conferences,” Richards mentioned, whereas crediting the lobbyists for each initiatives for take neighborhood wants into consideration.

Different on line casino corporations are lobbying placing chips on the desk too. Wynn Resorts, angling to open a on line casino in Hudson Yards, spent $314,000 on lobbying, in accordance with the info.

MGM Resorts, which is searching for to transform its slots parlor at Yonkers Raceway right into a full on line casino with desk video games, spent $300,000 on lobbying as did Genting Resorts World at Aqueduct, additionally searching for to supply desk video games in addition to slots.

Bally’s — which took over the Trump Group’s Ferry Point golf course in The Bronx and is eying a on line casino on the grounds — paid $285,000 in retainersm tge information present. Caesar’s Palace, pushing to open a on line casino in Instances Sq., paid $185,000 in lobbying charges, in accordance with the report.

Moonwalk Methods, co-founded by Jenny Sedlis, beforehand ran a pro-Eric Adams Tremendous Pac and pro-charter college group. Helayne Seidman

The group backed by actual property pursuits — Householders for an Inexpensive New York — gave the biggest single retainer to a lobbyist — $1.143 million to Fontas Advisors, headed by George Fontas, in accordance with the info. The group’s funders embrace the Actual Property Board of NY and Hire Stabilization Affiliation.

Fontas lobbied the mayor’s workplace to oppose state laws that will make it more durable for landlords to evict tenants “with out good trigger”, in accordance with lobbying data.

The true property trade accounted for one-third of lobbying spending final 12 months — by far the biggest of any sector, the figures present.

The best compensated lobbyist for the seventh consecutive 12 months was Suri Kasirer’s agency, Kasirer LLC, with $16.8 million, in accordance with the info.

The Mirram Group, headed by former Bronx Democratic chief Roberto Ramirez and Luis Miranda — the daddy of playwright Lin Manuel-Miranda are one of many seven lobbying outfits. Miles Mortensen/Invision/AP

Kasirer’s consumer Stony Brook University received the aggressive metropolis bid to run the $700 milion “New York Local weather Trade” lab on Governors Island, which she thought of one of many 12 months’s highlights.

Among the many different high lobbying ventures, in accordance with the figures:

  • Cable big Constitution Communications — which owns Spectrum and native information channel NY1 — spent $775,000 on lobbying to trace points resembling broadband entry.
  • The NYS Trial Legal professionals spent $714,876.
  • MSG Leisure spent $594,742 because it secured a 5-year extension of its particular allow to function Madison Sq. at Penn Station.
  • Vornado Realty spent $544,557 whereas redeveloping Pier 94 on the West Aspect into a film and TV studio campus.
  • RAI Service Firm/Reynolds American tobacco firm spent $527,835 because it efficiently fought to dam laws to ban menthol cigarettes.
  • Northwell Well being spent $512,109 whereas searching for to modernize  and broaden its Lenox Hill hospital on Manhattan’s East Aspect.

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