The massive success that has come from the legalization of sports betting in the state of New York has led to a resurgence in terms of interest in allowing increased casino action in the region, which has seemingly hit something of a stumbling block in one particularly famous part of town.
A coalition group put together by the Broadway League is looking to see off plans to build a casino in Times Square, with the backers for the deal including Caesars and influential businessman and rapper Jay-Z.
Though some of the opposition is based on moral objections, most surround potential business issues for establishments in the area, as voiced by Max Klimavicius, owner of the famous Sardi’s restaurant, who commented on the proposal;
“A casino in Times Square has the potential to jeopardize the character of the theater district and ultimately the fate of its restaurants,”
“Casinos are designed to keep the gamblers inside. They have their own restaurants.” Mr Klimaviciuis added.
This stance is one shared by state senator Liz Krueger who doesn’t feel the need to allow such a business to open in the area;
“I’m still waiting for one human being who lives in my district who doesn’t work for one of the casino companies bidding or the P.R. companies working for them to tell me that they really, really think that a casino is a great idea,”
“I think it’s a terrible idea.” Krueger commented.
Caesars Entertainment and SL Green Corp are nonetheless keen to bring a casino to Times Square, and as well as Jay-Z, there are plenty of other celebrity backers pushing for its construction.
The Coalition for a Better Times Square, which includes 70 businesses and organizations in support of the move, wants to see the project go through. The proposed Caesars Palace site would consist of a massive 950-room hotel, slots and table games, as well as a live sportsbook.
Jeff Garcia, president of the New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar and Lounge Association, is in favor of the move;
“This is not a Las Vegas casino that seeks to keep people inside. It is a New York-style casino, where visitors will be eating at local restaurants and drinking in local bars before and after gaming – and with Times Square’s great public transit access, they can reach businesses throughout Manhattan and beyond.”