Jay-Z joins effort to open a casino in Times Square

December 6, 2022

Rendering of proposed Caesars Place Times Square courtesy of SL Green Realty Corp

A bid to open a casino in Times Square just gained some star power. Rapper and entertainment mogul Jay-Z and his agency Roc Nation will join SL Green and Caesars Entertainment in their efforts to open a casino at 1515 Broadway, the team announced on Monday. The full-service talent agency, which represents major clients across music, entertainment, and sports, will partner with neighborhood organizations to “reimagine programming” in Times Square.

New York State legalized casinos in 2013 but agreed not to establish any downstate until 2023. In April, the state approved three casino licenses for the New York City region. A request for applications will be issued by January 6 and licenses will not be announced until later next year.

Last month, SL Green, one of the city’s largest real estate investors, and Caesars Entertainment announced plans to pursue a gaming license. The proposal involves redeveloping the 54-story office tower at 1515 Broadway into “Caesars Palace Times Square,” which would include a hotel, wellness center, theater space for The Lion King, and an expansive selection of entertainment, food, and drink options, in addition to floors dedicated to gaming.

According to a press release, Jay-Z and Roc Nation will oversee the entertainment programming at the site.

“New York is a beacon, the epicenter of culture. We have the opportunity to create a destination at the heart of Times Square, the true crossroads of the world,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “My partnership with SL Green and Caesars, this coalition, has all the promise and commitment to economic opportunity, growth and enrichment for the community, and everyone who visits the Empire State.”

SL Green and Caesars have pledged to use its loyalty program to partner with local businesses and support the area’s post-Covid recovery. Caesars Rewards members will be able to use their credits at Broadway theaters, local hotels, restaurants, shopping stores, comedy clubs, entertainment venues, and more, as 6sqft previously reported.

According to SL Green, the casino project could generate $166 million in new retail spending and spur $65 million in Broadway ticket sales annually.

“There’s no better partner than JAY-Z and Roc Nation to help Caesars Palace Times Square ensure that Times Square remains a global entertainment hub and an economic engine for New York,” Marc Holliday, chair and CEO of SL Green, said.

“Together, we will bring the nearly 130 million annual pedestrians a stronger and more exciting Times Square to visit, reunifying the bow tie around a new set of innovative programming that will appeal to New Yorkers and tourists.”

Other contenders for the downstate casino licenses include MGM’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers and the Resorts World facility at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Plus, developer Related Companies and Wynn Resorts have expressed interest in opening a casino in Hudson Yards.


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