Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 2/6/13

The New York Mets owners are still reeling from the $162 million in losses they suffered in the Bernie Madoff scandal and, according to The New York Post, are betting that a casino built next to Citi Field would generate enough cash to recoup some of their money from the Ponzi-scheme mess. Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz — who have been pretty stingy with signing ballplayers over the past few years — want to build a Las Vegas-style casino on a plot of land next to the stadium and even offered the City of New York $100 million for stretch of land. That's more than the Mets' $93 million entire payroll this season. Live-dealer casino gambling is currently illegal in the state of New York, except on tribal lands, but that won't stop Wilpon and his company, Sterling Equities, from throwing the dice on a proposal that aims at building a huge casino with gaming tables and slots, a 500-room, full-service hotel with 1.8 million square feet of retail with a lot of other amenities to the Queens site. The Southampton-based Shinnecock Indian Nation signed on tho operate the casino, according to the  development team's proposal, which was first obtained by project opponents Willets Point United and NYC Park Advocates, reports The Post. "This will be a place about fun — for families, sports fans and thrill seekers alike," read the proposal. "It will attract millions of visitors from the New York area and around the world." Fun and visitors — two things that have been in short supply at Citi Field in recent years. Wilpon has a long way to go before anyone gets to double-down or punch a slot button on the city-owned patch of junkyard land — even if the idea has Mayor Bloomberg's blessing. Although Sterling Equities wouldn't directly build or operate the casino, you can bet Major League Baseball — with its tough anti-gambling policies — will be keeping a keen eye on the project. A MLB spokesman said that they would "need to get all the details of the agreement" and it would ultimately be Commissioner Bud Selig's call. Selig and Wilpon are longtime friends. I wonder how the Shinnecock operators will feel when the Atlanta Braves come to town.

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