A Caesar's Palace Casino may be coming to the heart of NYC's theatre district. SL Green Realty Corporation and Caesars Entertainment are looking to garner support for their proposal, and various organizations within the Broadway community are making their stances known—on both sides of the issue.
“The Broadway League does not endorse a casino in Times Square," reads a statement from the trade organization obtained by Playbill. "The addition of a casino will overwhelm the already densely congested area and would jeopardize the entire neighborhood whose existence is dependent on the success of Broadway. Broadway is the key driver of tourism and risking its stability would be detrimental to the city.”
Performer and stage manager union Actors’ Equity Association is supporting the Caesar's Palace bid. “The proposal from the developer for a Times Square Casino would be a game changer that boosts security and safety in the Times Square neighborhood with increased security staff, more sanitation equipment and new cameras," says the union in a statement. "We applaud the developer’s commitment to make the neighborhood safer for arts workers and audience members alike."
As reported by The New York Times, the proposed site is 1515 Broadway, currently home to Broadway's Minskoff Theatre and Disney's The Lion King. The casino, which is expected to include a hotel, restaurants, and more, would be right above the Broadway mainstay. Concerns include its impact on the theatre industry, the neighborhood's economy, and whether it would usher in a return to the Times Square of the 1970s and 1980s with increased safety concerns.
The project faces a competing bid that has also been put forward for a casino at Hudson Yards by Related Companies and Wynn Resorts. State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the district which includes Times Square, was quoted by The New York Times as saying, "The Broadway League’s influence and clout and understanding of what theatergoers want is crucial to the future of Times Square, and if they’re opposing this proposal, I don’t see how it proceeds."