‘Unbelievable Location’ Sets Up Caesars For Potential ‘Home Run’ If Awarded NY Casino License

Written By Mike Mazzeo on November 16, 2022
Caesars New York Casino Downstate Manhattan Times Square

The sudden availability of a Manhattan-Times Square casino project proposal prompted Caesars to change its stance on entering the New York land-based market, Caesars CEO Tom Reeg told PlayNY.

Before partnering with NYC developer SL Green on a Times Square bid in October, Reeg had said during an earlier earnings call that it was “extraordinary unlikely” Caesars would be going commercial in the Big Apple.

Now, it seems Caesars has changed its tune. And a downstate New York casino appears to have entered the company’s crosshairs.

Caesars NY casino a ‘home run’ if awarded license

Speaking to PlayNY at the Indian Gaming Association Mid-Year Conference in Arizona, Reeg said that Caesars recognized it was a “free agent.”

“We have a brand that would be among those that should be considered for a big-city casino,” Reeg said.

“We were shown a partnership in an unbelievable location. If it’s awarded, the only casino license in Manhattan. It’ll be a home run.”

Hard Rock had been in talks with SL Green before changing course and working with New York Mets’ owner Steve Cohen on a Citi Field casino project proposal. As a result, the door opened for Caesars.

“I had other conversations going, and there was nothing that looked like that,” Reeg said. “So at that point (in February) it was very safe to say it’s probably not going to happen.”

When it comes to NY casino, it’s Manhattan or nothing

In Reeg’s view, it was Manhattan or nothing, he confirmed to PlayNY.

All Manhattan casino projects are expected to face significant community and political opposition. Wynn is working with Stephen Ross, the Miami Dolphins’ owner, and his development company Related on a possible casino at Hudson Yards on the West Side.

“We are economic animals. We want to limit what we do on our balance sheet,” Reeg said. “But for what it could do both economically and for our brand, it makes a lot of sense.

“All of that said, we know it’s an uphill climb for anybody to earn a license.”

Photo by AP / Ted Shaffrey; PlayNY
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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