Jay-Z Partners With Caesars in New York City Casino Bid

New York City could be getting a brand new casino, and rap legend Jay-Z is the man tasked with providing the entertainment.

New York, New York, so good they named it twice. Those are the lyrics singer-songwriter Gerard Kenny penned in 1978 in his ode to “The Big Apple.” It is, therefore, fitting that legendary songwriter, Jay-Z, is fronting a bid for a new casino in New York City. Jay-Z is partnering with Caesars Entertainment in a bid to open a casino in the world-famous Times Square.

Billionaire Jay-Z referred to New York as “the epicentre of culture” in a recent statement. However, check any casino reviews sites online, and New York has a severe lack of casino options. Indeed, Resorts World New York City is the only recognised live dealer casino in the city. Hardly the epicentre of culture, is it Mr Jay-Z?

New York Governor Kathy Hochul gave the green light for three casinos in the state. Only one of those possible licenses is for New York City. SL Green and Caesars Entertainment are hopeful of putting a casino in the 1515 Broadway office tower. However, The Broadway League, which represents theatre owners and producers, is against the proposal. This has led to SL Green and Caesars partnering with entertainment legend Jay-Z; they hope the rapper’s presence helps push the deal through.

Jay-Z and Roc Nation Are Providing Entertainment

Jay-Z is an influential man. Indeed, Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. The New York City native has a net worth of US$1.3 billion, while his wife of 14 years, pop princess Beyonce, is worth US$500 million. However, the partnership is not about Jay-Z’s money, it is his entertainment business that he brings to the table.

Shawn Carter, Jay-Z’s real name, founded Roc Nation on April 1, 2008. The company is headquartered in Manhattan, but has offices in Los Angeles and London. Roc Nation is the rapper’s main business interest. It is an entertainment agency that includes a talent agency, fashion clothing line, sports agency, television and film enterprises, and more.

Roc Nation manages the likes of Rhianna, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Rowland. Jay-Z and his Roc Nation buddies will oversee entertainment at the new casino.

“New York is the epicentre of culture. We have the opportunity to create a destination at the heart of the true crossroads of my word. My partnership with SL Green and Caesars has all the promise and commitment to economic opportunity, growth, and enrichment for the community and everyone that visits the Empire State.”

About Caesars Palace Times Square

Caesars Palace Times Square will be located at 1515 Broadway, one of six Times Square properties SL Green owns. SL Green is the city’s largest commercial landlord, with its properties spanning more than four million square feet. The local press claims the venue will be a huge casino games mecca. However, the proposed casino is tiny compared to Las Vegas and New Jersey casinos.

The proposed casino occupies eight of the building’s 54 floors between West 43rd and 44th streets. None of the floors are on the ground floor, which acts as the entrance to the Minskoff Theatre. SL Green revealed the casino is more of a boutique, taking up as little as 250,000 square feet. That does not leave much room for pokies and roulette games.

Caesars Palace Times Square, like its Las Vegas counterparts, hosts restaurants and entertainment facilities, which is where Jay-Z comes in. Those features are part of the eight casino floors. In addition, SL Green is building an 800-room five-star hotel in the building above the casino.

SL Green claims the Broadway theatre scene will see an influx of 400,000 new customers thanks to casino-goers purchasing show tickets. Furthermore, SL Green sees the hotel and casino as a way to rejuvenate the district’s slow but steady decline. Crime is noticeably up, while Times Square office vacancy has soared from 5% to 25% in the past decade.

The battle for the licence continues, but SL Green and Caesars have some X-Factor entertainment locked up with Jay-Z in their corner.