Caesars Enters Partnership to Bid for Casino License at Times Square

Caesars Enters Partnership to Bid for Casino License at Times Square
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

For the past few weeks and for the next couple of months, a steady trickle of hints about possible locations of three New York downstate casinos has been ongoing.

One of those possible locations for eventual retail New York sports betting was announced Thursday.

New York-based SL Green Realty and Caesars Entertainment are joining to redevelop 1515 Broadway in the heart of Times Square as Caesars Palace Times Square.

“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, in a news release.

“A casino in Times Square is in keeping with existing uses in the area. Times Square is the center of the entertainment universe. Because we are proposing a renovation, once the license is issued, we can open quicker than other facilities, which require entirely new construction, changes in law, and will be disruptive to their local communities.”

Caesars Already a Fixture in NY Sports Betting

Caesars Sportsbook New York is already well entrenched in the state’s mobile wagering.

According to the release, Caesars Palace Times Square will be 100% privately funded and will be designed to include a Broadway Theater for world-renowned The Lion King and will provide billions in tax revenue to New York City and state. It figures to bring more tourists to area businesses and could create scores of jobs in and around the epicenter of Manhattan.

Under a long-term contract, Caesars will license its brand and manage the operations of the proposed facility. The collaborative project also has proposed security and traffic improvements.

“Caesars is thrilled to partner with SL Green in connection with a five-star project that will meet and exceed New Yorkers’ expectations for world-class entertainment, immediately enhancing New York City's tourism engine and elevating this one-of-a-kind global destination to new heights,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars.

“As one of the largest mobile sportsbooks 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.” 

Caesars is currently third among the nine legalized mobile sportsbooks in the state and reported $39.94 million in mobile handle and $3.32 million in total mobile Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the week ending Oct. 16. Since launch in January, Caesars can boast a handle of more than $2.28 billion and GGR of more than $174.9 million.

The company bills itself as the largest North American gaming operator with more than 50 casino properties, retail and/or mobile sports betting in 27 jurisdictions, and iGaming in five.

SL Green Realty is Manhattan's largest office landlord. As of Sept. 30, it has interest in 62 buildings that total 33.6 million square feet.

Background on Downstate Casinos

The New York State budget passed earlier this year by the legislature provided for three downstate gaming licenses.

There are four upstate casinos in New York that are operational, which have retail sports betting. Those casinos are Rivers Casino in Schenectady, Del Lago in Waterloo, Resorts World Catskills in Monticello and Tioga Downs in Nichols.

There are no New York real money online casinos.

However, iGaming is live and thriving in the bordering states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Those states, as well as Delaware, Michigan and West Virginia, have mobile slots as well as table games such as roulette, blackjack and poker.

As of Oct. 3, the state’s Gaming Facility Location Board (GFLB) will have 90 days to issue a Request for Applications (first week of January 2023 approx.), which will start the formal bidding process.

The RFA will include appropriate deadlines for the process, including questions, submissions, amendments, etc.

Earlier Partnerships Announced

On Sept. 15, New York-based Related Companies and Wynn Resorts announced a partnership to pursue a downstate casino license on the Western Yards at Hudson Yards, directly next to the Javits Center.

Just 10 days ago, Manhattan-based Thor Equities expressed interest in submitting a proposal for a casino on Coney Island, home of one of the most historic neighborhoods in New York and host of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest held every July 4.

Stay current on this process at EmpireStakes.com, where you also can find the top NY sportsbook promos.

 

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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