The Shubert Organization has become the latest powerful group on Broadway to criticize plans for the establishment of a casino in New York’s iconic Times Square.
The organization, which is currently the biggest theater owner on Broadway, has joined the Broadway League in opposing a proposal unveiled by (REIT) SL Green, a real estate investment trust, for the establishment of a casino in the popular theater district. According to initial plans, which were unveiled by the real estate trust and the Harrah’s operator in October 2022, the venue would be operated by Caesars Entertainment.
For the time being, the two casinos situated in the area of New York City – MGM’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Queens-based Resorts World New York City – are venues that only offer slot machines. However, the next-year budget is likely to open the door for the two venues to start offering the full range of casino services, including table games and retail sports betting operations. A third casino license for a yet-to-be-determined operator could be provided by local authorities, too.
Since the project was unveiled, SL Green and Caesars Entertainment have been working in collaboration to convince Broadway theater owners that the establishment of a Times Square casino could improve existing traffic and crime issues that have been affecting the area for quite some time, while at the same time potentially raising the engagement with local restaurants.
Supporters of Times Square Casino Say the Project Would Boost the Area’s Economy
The casino project of SL Green and Caesars Entertainment has its supporters, including the former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Actors Equity, as well as a number of restaurants in the Times Square area. A safety plan for the project has been generated by Mr. Bratton.
That backup does not deserve to face mockery, but some local residents and authority officials have long expressed their concern with the potential establishment of a gambling venue in Manhattan, claiming that if a third gaming license is awarded in New York City, the winning company may have to consider another borough to host a casino venue.
This time, the Schubert Organization is explaining that it opposes the effort to bring a casino establishment to Times Square in New York City. in a recent podcast, the organization’s real estate Vice President Julio Peterson shared that if such a venue is brought to life, it was likely to disturb theatergoers, which, according to Schubert officials, would not be the best thing for the district. At the time, Mr. Peterson explained that he was not against the establishment of a new casino in New York City as a whole, he simply did not want such a venue to be hosted in Times Square.
While New York officials are expected to give the green light to a third downstate gaming venue, the competition for the casino license is already taking shape, and Times Square is not the only option. So far, SL Green has not released much information about the details of its proposal for Times Square but that is expected to change in the months to come. Current speculations mention the establishment of a boutique-style casino, a luxury hotel, as well as high-end dining offerings.