SL Green, Caesars Entertainment Propose Times Square Casino

Caesars Entertainment's CEO Tom Reeg and SL Green's CEO Mark Holliday along with the Minskoff Theatre at 1515 Broadway (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

Caesars Entertainment’s CEO Tom Reeg and SL Green’s CEO Mark Holliday along with the Minskoff Theatre at 1515 Broadway (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

UPDATED, Oct. 20, 2022, 11:10 a.m.: For all the times you felt like Times Square was just a little too quiet, a developer and an entertainment partner are trying to drum up support in the hopes of bringing a casino to the neighborhood.

SL Green and casino monger Caesars Entertainment have teamed up to bring a shiny new Caesars Palace to 1515 Broadway in Times Square. The companies are rustling up support — and encountering opposition — from the casino’s would-be neighbors in the city’s entertainment heart, the New York Times reported.

The proposed casino would be built at SL Green’s West 44th Street skyscraper, which also houses the Minskoff Theater — home to “The Lion King” on Broadway — and Viacom’s world headquarters.

Developers jumped to make plans after lawmakers announced in April up to three casino licenses were on the table for the New York City area. Two of the spots are likely to be racetracks-plus-slot-machine locations: Genting Group’s Resorts World New York City in Queens and MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers.

SL Green and Caesars appear to be competing for the third with Related Companies, which has proposed partnering with Wynn Resorts to build a casino in Hudson Yards, and with Mets owner Steven Cohen, who wants to put a Hard Rock casino near his team’s baseball stadium in Queens, Citi Field.

The SL Green-Caesars plan faces opposition from influential trade association the Broadway League, which says a casino would threaten the Times Square neighborhood and its already precarious theater economy.

The proposal’s supporters include the Actors’ Equity Association labor union. Andrew Rigie, president of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told the Times his trade association would support a casino plan if the developers encouraged casino-goers to dine at surrounding eateries. Casinos typically have restaurants within them.

SL Green and Caesars are trying to sweeten the pot for its neighbors by saying that the casino would bring additional security to Times Square in the form of 50 artificial intelligence surveillance cameras and additional safety officers.

Security is an issue for businesses in the neighborhood, where the pandemic cratered foot traffic and violent crimes have increased, possibly deterring tourists and office workers.

This article has been updated to clarify the New York City Hospitality Alliance’s position on Manhattan casino projects. 

— Cailley LaPara

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