Caesars Entertainment announced in October that it partnered with SL Green Realty to develop a casino at 1515 Broadway in Times Square if the New York gambling regulator picked it. The two believed that bringing a casino to Times Square would ease traffic and revitalize the economy following the effects of the Coronavirus.
Different groups had unique opinions about the plan. Recently, a newly formed group endorsed the plan. The Coalition for a Better Times Square comprises musicians, hotel operators, construction unions, small business owners, heater workers, and others. The group launched a project hoping to revitalize Times Square.
According to Jeff Bank, Times Square is the Crossroads of the globe. However, the Alicart Restaurant Group official feels that tourists are yet to return and businesses are yet to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Jeff noted that business during lunchtime is no longer booming.
He added that bringing a new entertainment destination such as that proposed by Caesars Entertainment and SL Green would bring the economy back on track. Jeff added that the money generated would be used to facilitate traffic flow, sanitation, and safety.
The Proposed Casino Faces a Lot of Opposition
There are several new stakeholders interested in the proposed Times Square casino. For instance, earlier this month, SL Green and Caesars announced that Jay-Z's Roc Nation entertainment agency was joining them to develop a gaming property in the theater district. Despite this, the involved parties will have to apply much effort to sway opposing groups to support the casino project.
Already the largest theater owner associations oppose having a casino in Times Square. The Shubert Organization and Broadway League do not see the benefits of having a casino in the district. They believe it will bring more harm than solutions.
The theater owner associations believe that having a casino will not ease the traffic. They insist that the casino will encourage visitors to remain in the casino instead of venturing into the other parts of the district.
Shubert has no problem with a casino being in Manhattan. However, the association does not want the casino in Times Square. There are other groups opposing gambling facilities near Manhattan.
This is compelling gambling operators to reevaluate their entry into New York. Most are looking for other locations away from Manhattan.
Meanwhile, SL Green believes having a casino in Times Square will increase the number of visitors in the area by 7 million yearly. This will increase overnight stays at hotels in the district by 600,000.
A Casino in Times Square Will Provide Jobs
Caesars, SL Green, Coalition for a Better Times Square, and Roc Nation have revealed that they are not proposing a Las Vegas project but a New York project. While Caesars is based in Las Vegas, the operator does not intend to turn the New York project into something like the Las Vegas project. Instead, it will bring some crucial elements to New York, such as good union relationships with the industry's largest reward program, which has over 65 million members.
According to the Business Manager of the Mason Tenders` District Council of Greater New York and Construction and General Building Laborers` Local 79, Mike Prohaska, having a casino in Times Square will create hundreds of well-paying jobs during construction and after.
Mike noted that SL Green and Caesars had significant pro-labor histories. He explained that the two were committed to hiring minority groups and apprenticeship programs that would open a path for middle-class New Yorkers.