Posted on: January 3, 2024, 03:58h.
Last updated on: January 3, 2024, 03:58h.
A group consisting of Caesars Entertainment, SL Green, and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation is proposing a casino in Times Square, New York City. Excellent news for sports bettors who can check outNBA betting sites. But with ongoing crime concerns, the project may face challenges.
A new survey by the Situation Group indicates that wealthy people in the 55 and up age demographic living in New York suburbs are reluctant to return to Times Square to see Broadway shows due to safety concerns. This concern could lead to the project being impacted.
That despite data indicating that overall crime in New York City declined 5% last year. However, while murders and shootings dropped, assaults rose 6% and automobile thefts surged 15%.
The Situation Group polled 1,700 Broadway ticket buyers from across the US.
Crime Could Damp Times Square Casino Effort
Caesars, Jay-Z, and SL Green haven’t publicly commented on the Situation Group findings, but the casino bidders are looking to leverage their proposed location as potentially accretive to local businesses, including the theater community.
However, they lack support from Broadway. the Broadway League, which is the national trade association for the Broadway industry, said it opposes the plan. In 2022, the group reiterated that view, noting casinos keep people inside wagering, meaning there will be limited benefit to other local businesses.
The same year, the Shubert Organization, the largest owner of theaters in the area, also said it’s against a Times Square casino. Conversely, some other Times Square businesses, including restaurants, have rallied behind the idea of a gaming venue and while crime is still high in the Big Apple, data confirm tourism to the largest US city continues rebounding.
The Caesars, Jay-Z and SL Green are among roughly a dozen entities vying for three downstate casino permits, which could be awarded by New York regulators later this year. It’s rumored that two of those licenses will go to MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World New York in Queens.
Other Issues Facing Times Square Casino
Beyond crime, which could improve over time, a Times Square casino could face other headwinds when it comes to benefiting from and with Broadway. Some previous theatergoers are seeing fewer shows because they now work from home, according to the Situation Group.
Additionally, ticket prices increasing but Broadway is currently producing fewer hit shows with the ability to stick for years and decades as did productions such as “Chicago,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Rent,” and “Wicked.”
Hits come and go, highly sought after shows could be integral assuming a Times Square casino comes to life because Caesars wants to leverage its loyalty program to gain favor among local businesses, including theaters.
Caesars Rewards is the industry’s largest gaming loyalty program. SL Green also forecasts that a Times Square casino will drive more than 7 million in additional meals purchased at local restaurants while boosting Broadway ticket sales by more than $65 million annually.