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Caesars unveils ambitious Times Square casino plan

Publish Date: 05/28/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Caesars Entertainment CEO Thomas Reeg has revealed an ambitious strategy for a potential casino in Times Square. During an upcoming interview on News12 Connecticut’s “Power & Politics” show with Tara Rosenblum, Reeg disclosed that Caesars had already paid over $100 million in sports wagering taxes to the fourth-largest state. He confidently said the Times Square casino would surpass that amount by “a healthy margin.”

The competition for the three casino permits in the New York City area is fierce, with Caesars being one of over ten gaming companies vying for the opportunity. The competition is intense because regulators are allegedly expected to grant two licenses to MGM’s Empire City in Yonkers and Resorts World New York in Queens, both of which currently offer only slot machines.

Apart from Caesars, other prominent contenders for the permits include Bally’s, Hard Rock International, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts. Caesars, real estate developer SL Green and Roc Nation entertainment agency are leading the Times Square casino group.

‘A worthwhile prize’

Caesars and its competitors are drawn to New York City, arguably the most coveted untapped gaming market in the United States. Securing one of the downstate casino licenses would offer Caesars a substantial opportunity to diversify its revenue streams.

“This is a worthwhile prize,” Reeg told Rosenblum about the New York casino efforts. “I am feeling lucky.”

Reeg personally guided Rosenblum on a tour of the prospective site for the envisioned Caesars Palace Times Square. The site is a 52-story high-rise that will include around 250,000 square feet of gaming space and 950 hotel rooms.

During the tour, Reeg shared the company’s vision of building luxurious terraces with food and beverage bars, as well as taking advantage of Times Square views. The company will also take an unconventional approach by placing the gaming areas on the upper floors while using the ground floor to host other amenities.

Addressing concerns

Mostly consisting of businesses and locals, those in opposition to the gaming venue worry about its potential negative impact on the live theater industry and other establishments in the neighborhood.

Caesars also announced plans to utilize its widely popular Caesars Rewards loyalty program to address this. This program allows participants to convert their accumulated points into gift cards, which can be used at various Times Square establishments such as hotels, restaurants, retailers, comedy clubs and entertainment venues.

Reeg also addressed concerns raised by critics regarding increased congestion and safety issues in Times Square. The CEO reassured that comprehensive safety and traffic strategies have already been implemented.

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