Though it’s hard to imagine fitting anything more into Times Square, “real estate and gambling giants” have recently been pushing for a NYC casino license, according to the New York Times. The Times Square casino would take over 1515 Broadway, above the Minskoff Theater, and feature everything from restaurants to a wellness center and hotel.
State legislators approved three casino licenses for NYC earlier this year. As of now, Genting Group’s Resorts World New York City and MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers, N.Y. are supposed front-runners to land the first two for racinos (both a race track and casino mainly using slot machines), shares the New York Times. Caesars Entertainment and developer, SL Green Realty Corporation, are currently working to secure the third. The companies “are actively trying to enlist local restaurants, retailers and construction workers in joining a pro-casino coalition,” reports the New York Times.
The proposal faces much apprehension, as opponents fear a casino in Times Square would be a change for the worse in the area. However, in a copy of a letter obtained by the New York Times, both companies suggest that a portion of the projects revenue would fund safety and sanitary efforts in Times Square. The promise still doesn’t seem to convince one of the most impactful adversaries: the Broadway League.
“The addition of a casino will overwhelm the already densely congested area and would jeopardize the entire neighborhood whose existence is dependent on the success of Broadway,” the league shared in a statement. “Broadway is the key driver of tourism and risking its stability would be detrimental to the city.”
Times Square isn’t the only location that real estate and gambling companies are coming after. Related Companies and Wynn Resorts are bidding for a casino to pop-up in Hudson Yards, reports the New York Times. New York Met’s owner, Steven Cohen, is also interested in getting his hands on the casino license to open one near Citi Field in Queens. Yet, a state committee responsible for reviewing the proposals won’t make decisions about a location until late 2023 (at the earliest).
For now, we’ll have to wait to see if the proposal’s will actually put their money where their mouth is.