Roc Nation Attempts To Curb Concerns Surrounding Potential Caesars NY Casino

Written By Matt Boecker on May 12, 2023
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In an attempt to clear up misinformation, Roc Nation released a statement regarding its Caesars Palace Times Square casino proposal, detailing how it will benefit the community.

Roc Nation, the entertainment agency founded by Jay-Z, teamed up with SL Green and Caesars Entertainment to create a New York casino proposal. Each company hopes its prominence within their respective industries will provide a big enough boost to land one of the three available licenses.

But bringing an NY casino to Manhattan will be no easy task. And the group has already dealt with a lot of pushback from community leaders who oppose the plan.

Roc Nation looks to ‘speak to you, New York City, directly’

In the statement posted on social media, Roc Nation made it clear that the goal of the release is to set the record straight about its casino proposal.

“Some conflicted parties have attempted to spread misinformation, so we wanted to speak to you, New York City, directly,” Roc Nation said in the statement.

Roc Nation proceeded to lay out what the downstate casino license winners must need. First, they must “have a track record of turning words into deeds – of putting New York City and its residents first – people of all races, religions, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and socio-economic statuses.”

A history of fighting for fair hiring, representation and reform are also essential, according to Roc Nation.

The statement went on to mention how pivotal a decision this will be for New York City and its people. For the Caesars Palace Times Square casino proposal, ensuring the community stays connected to every facet of culture is paramount.

What Caesars NY casino would bring to New Yorkers

Roc Nation believes its casino plan will attract even more tourists to Times Square, as well as enhance the lives of those who call the Big Apple home. The statement laid out the benefits that would stem from Caesars, SL Green and Roc Nation winning a casino license:

  • Gives back to all surrounding businesses
  • Benefits mass transit
  • Invests money into sanitation and security from the bowtie all the way west into Hell’s Kitchen
  • Develops and delivers a much-needed transportation plan
  • Protects the interests of the actors, producers, theater staff, writers and patrons that represent the true heart and soul of Broadway
  • Provides opportunity for all

Roc Nation addresses anti-Times Square casino coalition

Roc Nation also made mention of how the Caesars Times Square casino would positively impact Broadway, restaurants, hotels and shops in the area.

“Caesars Palace Times Square will benefit all of New York – the hotel and restaurant workers in the area, retailers and surrounding neighborhoods. Our bid commits $115 million for diverse theater programs that include daycare for Broadway workers and their families.”

The company’s statement has some direct messaging to the Broadway League, a 700-member group of theater owners and operators. The Broadway League organized the creation of the No Times Square Casino Community Coalition.

The opposing group remains certain that a Caesars Manhattan casino would significantly harm the area. Members of the coalition include:

  • Broadway League
  • Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association
  • Times Square Church
  • American Bus Association
  • Encore Community Services
  • Student & Youth Travel Association

The coalition shares similar fears as every other group opposing a downstate casino proposal: an increase in crime and traffic.

The coalition recognizes that after struggling during the pandemic, visitors are finally returning to Broadway theaters, which of course helps surrounding businesses, too. But they believe a casino’s goal is to keep visitors inside for as long as possible, which could setback the recent progress the theaters and businesses have made since COVID-19.

Photo by David Richard / AP Photo
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Matt Boecker

Born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Matt graduated from Northern Illinois University, where he covered NIU hockey for the Northern Star. Since then, Matt has specialized in NFL and NBA coverage for various websites and podcasts before shifting gears to casino and sports betting coverage.

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