In a groundbreaking development, Caesars Entertainment has partnered with SL Green Realty Corp. to apply for the license that would open a entertainment and gaming venue in the heart of Times Square in New York City. It will be 100% privately funded and will license its brand and manage the operations under a long-term management contract.
1515 Broadway, also known as One Astor Plaza, is owned by SL Green and is the current home to Paramount Global headquarters. This space would be redeveloped into Caesars Palace Time Square, making it the 21st state with at least one Caesars Entertainment location in the U.S., and the first in New York.
“We believe that Times Square offers the best location for a new resort casino that can attract tourists and benefit local businesses. We’re excited to pursue this license with Caesars and our many local partners. Our approach will ensure that under-represented communities benefit both in terms of employment and investment opportunities,” said Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green.
Caesars Palace Times Square will include a Broadway Theater for The Lion King along with providing its typical entertainment and gaming experience. It’s also set to utilize its industry-leading loyalty program, Caesars Rewards, to create strategic partnerships with surrounding businesses in Times Square. For example, Caesars Rewards members will be able to use credits earned at Broadway shows, local restaurants, hotels, retail stores, clubs, entertainment venues, and more. This is all in a larger effort to bring more tourists to the city, while supporting its working class.
“As one of the largest mobile sports books in New York, Caesars is passionate about New York itself. Caesars is also deeply invested in New York-based restaurant groups, chefs, and entertainers from across the Empire State,” CEO of Caesars Tom Reeg said.
We announced a partnership w/ SL Green Realty Corp to redevelop 1515 Broadway as a premiere entertainment & gaming destination in Times Square. Caesars Palace Times Square will accelerate economic recovery through strategic partnerships w/ area businesses: https://t.co/OR1TNHqQ9Z pic.twitter.com/9ljSLwqfdS
— Caesars Entertainment (@CaesarsEnt) October 20, 2022
Restoring Economic Hope
In the press release, it’s noted that a large part of the motivation behind the project proposal is the billions of dollars in tax revenue it will generate and the handful of jobs it will create for New York as it navigates an economic recovery.
Jeffrey Bank, CEO of the Alicart Restaurant Group, which operates Carmine’s Family Style Italian Restaurant and Virgil’s BBQ, has been in business in Times Square for over 30 years, and he’s excited to see this finally happen.
“It is time for us to reinvest again – Times Square is the beating heart of New York, but everyone in Times Square is still hurting from the pandemic. The Caesars Palace proposal is the key to bringing tourists back, making Times Square safer, and is exactly the economic driver we need to not only recover but continue to grow and create more jobs,” Bank said.
Several other business owners in the area spoke of foreseeable benefits as well, citing reasons such as the benefits to the disadvantaged communities and creating apprenticeship programs, as reasons to support the development.
Caesars Says Safety First
In addition to the economic benefits for the area, Caesars is also planning to attack the safety and security issue in Times Square. They’ve proposed significant security and traffic improvements in their plans, in an effort to increase pedestrian travel, mitigate vehicle congestion, and make everyone in the area feel safer. This comes just a few days after Mayor Adams and the NYPD signed two bills to control gun violence in the city, specifically in Times Square, which was dubbed a “sensitive location.”
“SL Green and Caesars’ proposal for Times Square goes beyond routine, in-house security and would invest millions in a new public-private safety initiative. This investment will ensure Times Square is safe for years to come,” said former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton.
Earlier this week, an Indiana bettor put $10K on the Pelicans (+3000) to win the NBA title AND another $20K to win the West (+1800) 👀
Can win up to $660,000 🤯 pic.twitter.com/7zFL1VNQ3G
— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) October 20, 2022
Casino Landscape in New York
In April, New York lawmakers approved the future addition of three full-service casinos in downtown New York, adding to the four that are operational in various cities upstate.
Two of those licenses are likely to go to existing casino operators – Resorts World in Queens and Empire City Casino just outside the Bronx. The last one, which Caesars is vying for to launch its Times Square location, has some competition with Wynn Resorts and Related Companies both eyeing it as well.
The approval process is expected to take time and money – $500 million to be exact (license fee). The press release did not detail a timeline for when this development would begin, if they get the license. They certainly seem like a good candidate however, with support from several business owners and NYPD representatives.