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Councilman Francisco Moya backs Mets owner Steve Cohen’s $8B Queens casino plan

“I wholeheartedly believe that Metropolitan Park is in Queens’ and New York City’s best interest,” Moya who represents the communities around Flushing Meadow Park and Willets Point said in a statement Thursday — referring to the name of Cohen’s proposed gaming center, hotel, and music venue.

For Cohen’s casino project to succeed, he needs the state Legislature to approve a law to reconvert the lots around Citi Field designated as park land since the World’s Fair was for commercial use — something Ramos has not agreed to do.

“I am committed to advancing a New York City Council home rule message for the State to authorize the City of New York to seize this opportunity, by permitting additional uses on this land to facilitate the sports, entertainment, and recreational park,” Moya said.

Moya is a fervent backer of another project next to the Cohen casino, a new professional soccer stadium for the New York City Football Club.

He gushed the casino-entertainment complex “will provide the economic engine to drive people to the area year-round and create a world-class fan experience for the millions who come to Citi Field, the USTA Tennis Center, and all those who will soon be coming to cheer on the NYCFC.”

“If we fail to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we ensure that the area around Citi Field remains underutilized parking lots for the foreseeable future; and we permanently stymie the future growth potential of Queens. Let’s not allow that to happen. I look forward to supporting this historic project and making Metropolitan Park a reality,” the councilman said.

But Senator Ramos, whose support is critical to passing a law in Albany for the project to proceed, is still playing high-stakes poker and issued a statement critical of Cohen team’s lobbying strategy — on the eve of her holding another town hall meeting on the project.

“I question the strategy here. This press release, the last minute press conference before my third town hall, the paid canvassers at my first town hall – these are not the open and transparent moves that I would expect from someone claiming to value real, honest community engagement,” Ramos said in a statement texted to The Post.

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A day earlier, Ramos posted a picture of herself on social media with rapper Nas, who is part of the Genting Resort World slot parlor’s competing bid to obtain a full casino license to offer table games and open a music venue.

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Moya’s announced support comes just days after state regulators said they won’t decide on up to 3 new casino licenses in the New York City area until late 2025 — a delay critics say deals the local economy a bad hand.

But casino industry sources said the go-slow timetable gives Cohen more time to strengthen his hand in Albany.

Cohen is said to maintain cordial ties to Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul, other big players in the casino sweepstakes.

Other proposed casinos include The Related Companies/Wynn proposal for Hudson Yards, SL Green/Caesars/Roc Nation in Times Square, the Thor Equities consortium in Coney Island, Bally’s at Ferry Point in The Bronx and Sands at the Nassau Coliseum Hub.

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