Saturday, August 13, 2022

Hard Rock, Eyeing NYC Casino License, Puts Chips Behind Official Hochulu

An executive at Seminole Hard Rock Casino reportedly sent a brazen “pay-to-play” email request urging associates to put their chips behind Kathy Hochul’s gubernatorial campaign—because the firm was trying to operate a gambling parlor. makes an aggressive push to win the licence. New York City.

“The team, as we prepare for the final stage of our process for the third New York City casino license, Seminole Hard Rock asks that you consider the attached welcome program and donation. … Can count on your support for Kathy Hochul and Happy Father’s Day!” According to gaming blog playny.com, a recent email from the Hard Rock honcho said.

Explicitly soliciting donations in return for a particular government action, if terminated, may be construed as bribery or bribery in law enforcement parlance.

By expressly requesting donations in return for a certain government action, Seminole Hard Rock Casino’s actions can be treated as quid pro quo.
Getty Images

A casino industry source said of Hard Rock, “They’re throwing a lot of money around and clearly trying to get Hochul’s attention.”

A government watchdog group said e-mails attributed to a representative of the casino operator showed “New York Government is for sale.”

“The assumption is that Gov. Hochul has put up a sign that says, ‘New York is for sale,'” said John Kehney, executive director of Reinvent Albany. “It’s pay to play. That’s how donors see it and the Hochul campaign is cashing in on that notion.

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On June 20, Hard Rock hosted a fundraising event for Gov. Cathy Hochul's campaign at the new Hard Rock Hotel in New York City.
On June 20, Hard Rock hosted a fundraising event for Gov. Cathy Hochul’s campaign at the new Hard Rock Hotel in New York City.
AFP via Getty Images

“The email reads like a quid pro quo. They are expecting something in return for their contribution,” Kehney said.

Hard Rock said in a statement to The Post on Tuesday that it had launched an investigation into what it claimed was an unauthorized email, while acknowledging that it opened on June 20 at its new hotel in Times Square. Had hosted a big fundraising bash for Hochul.

“Hard Rock hosted a fundraising event for Gov. Hochul on June 20 at the new Hard Rock Hotel in New York City. Participants were invited through an invitation that was approved by our compliance attorneys and Rock Support Services, with no reference to casinos in New York or the casino licensing process,” the company said.

Steve Cohen
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is said to be potentially partnering with Seminole Hard Rock for a casino project next to Citi Field.
Charles Weinzelberg
Eric Adams
Seminole Hard Rock is also seeking support from Mayor Eric Adams, lobbying records show.
Matthew McDermott

“With respect to the alleged other e-mails, Hard Rock International takes these allegations very seriously and immediately launched an internal investigation to determine whether anyone in our organization violated company policies regarding political contributions.” Is.”

Donors affiliated with Hard Rock have donated more than $10,000 to Hochul this election cycle, as did a recent analysis by the NY Times analyzing $34 million in Hochul’s campaign donations.

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Seminole Hard Rock president Jim Allen gave Hochul $25,000 on June 20—the day of the fundraiser and the date listed in the email.

Other donors were asked to kick in $25,000 to become co-chairs of the Hochul campaign program.

Seminole Hard Rock is said to be a contender for a potential partnership with New York Mets owner Steve Cohen for a casino project next to Citi Field in Willetts Point.

Lobbying records also show that the Seminoles are seeking support from hard rock mayor Eric Adams.

Representatives of the firm recently met with Mayer’s chief of staff Frank Caron, lobbying records show.

Mets owner and hedge fund mogul Cohen donated $1.5 million last year to a Super PAC that supported Adams’ successful campaign for City Hall.

The state will open a competitive bidding process later this year to license up to three casinos in the Downstate area located in the Big Apple and/or surrounding suburbs.

Two existing slot parlors, Gentings Resorts World at Aqueduct Race Track and MGM’s Empire City at Yonkers Raceway, are also vying for licenses to offer table games.

The state expects to receive $500 million per license from casino operators.

The Hochul campaign declined comment.

Nation World News Desk
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