Another candidate has emerged for one of the three casino licenses in downstate New York, making the bidding process even more interesting. The latest contender is SL Green Realty Corporation and Caesars Entertainment who have decided to team up and apply for a commercial license to bring a casino property to the already busy Times Square.
The three downstate casino licenses have been a hot topic over the recent weeks since many companies have expressed their interest in the bidding process. The fast-tracking of the process was officially included in the state budget this April, and just recently the New York State Gaming Commission announced a panel which will be tasked with selecting the winning locations.
A Tough Task
SL Green Realty Corporation and gambling leader Caesars Entertainment have already started to actively try to convince local restaurants, retailers, and construction workers to get on board a Times Square casino project. However, a casino at the commercial intersection would face many obstacles, such as a bid from Related Companies and Wynn Resorts for the Hudson Yards.
Critics are also concerned that a potential casino at 1515 Broadway, the SL Green skyscraper near West 44th Street, would drastically change the landscape of the neighbourhood that cannot afford to go back to its shadier past. But the companies suggest that they would use a portion of the generated casino revenue to fund safety and sanitation improvements in Times Square.
There are already opponents to the gaming property, as the Broadway League, a trade association for theatre owners and producers, sent an email to its members, stating that it will not tolerate a casino in the area. The association says the casino would overwhelm the already densely packed area and would endanger the neighbourhood which relies mainly on Broadway to thrive.
But still, the Actors’ Equity Association has declared support for the gambling location. In a statement, the association said that the proposal for a Times Square casino would be of great benefit to the neighbourhood and it would boost security and safety in the area. It said that it backs the developer’s commitment to making the neighbourhood safer for arts workers and audience members.
SL Green Realty Corporation claimed that a casino in the neighbourhood would provide more than 50 new artificial intelligence camera systems placed strategically across Times Square. Each of these devices will be able to monitor more than 85,000 people per day. The company said that its bid’s safety plans were developed by former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Thor Equities Joins the Race
Caesars Entertainment and SL Green Realty Corporation will also face competition for one of the licenses from Thor Equities. Just recently, the firm announced its intentions to put in a hefty bid for a commercial casino in Coney Island. But in order to be successful in its efforts, the company must gain local support, as it is a vital requirement.
Source: Rubinstein, Dana; Hong, Nicole; Paulson, Michael “Times Square May Get One of the Few Spectacles It Lacks: A Casino” New York Times, October 19, 2022