Caesars Palace in Times Square? Don’t bet.

New York real estate developers say a Manhattan casino is a remote possibility. Queens and the Bronx are luckier favorites – maybe even Coney Island.

JNew York City billionaire ohn Catsimatidis, best known as the owner of supermarket chain Gristedes, is looking for the right deal to bring a casino to the city.

“If it’s the right place and the right deal, we’re ready to put the money in and get involved,” says Catsimatidis from her New York office. “When we control a deal, there is no limit.”

He says he would be willing to invest up to $200 million to bring gambling to New York if he had partners. But there is one place Catsimatidis, 74, thinks is the worst place to put a casino: Manhattan. “Where are you going to put it?” He asks.

The New York State Gambling Commission, which has begun the official process to license up to three casinos in and around the city’s five counties, including Long Island and Westchester, is expected to issue a request for proposal no later than January 6, 2023.

But plans for New York casinos are already leaking out early, and one that has captivated the public’s imagination is a proposal for a casino in the heart of Manhattan: Caesars Palace Times Square.

Entertainment agency Roc Nation, founded by billionaire music magnate Jay-Z, New York-based real estate investment partnership SL Green and Caesars Entertainment are collaborating to bring the famous Las Vegas casino to New York. The plan is to convert the office tower at 1515 Broadway at the corner of 45th Street to SL Green. The companies claim that if they can build a casino, shopping, dining and entertainment complex on Crossroads of the World, it will draw millions of visitors to Times Square each month and drive billions in retail spending and ticket sales.

There are other offers for Manhattan. Headed by Stephen Ross, the developer behind Manhattan’s Hudson Yards and billionaire owner of Miami Dolphins, Associated Companies announced with Wynn a plan to build a casino near the Javits Center along Manhattan’s West Side. Stefan Soloviev, son of the late Sheldon Solow, who made a fortune in Manhattan real estate, also wants to build a Ferris wheel casino on his unused land near the United Nations.

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But NIMBY’s forces are particularly strong in Times Square. The association’s president, Charlotte St. In a letter to members, Martin wrote that one of the neighborhood’s most influential organizations, the Broadway League, a trade association of producers and theater owners, is “strongly opposed” to gambling on the Great White Road. in November.

st. “Whether they come for a day or a week, visitors to Times Square come on limited budgets and this can be consumed by casino gambling,” Martin wrote. “Every dollar spent at the craps table, roulette wheel or slot machine is one dollar not spent on a game, dinner or souvenir. This is cause for alarm.”

Citing multiple studies, the Broadway League says that a casino will create more traffic jams, disrupt the local economy and reduce safety. By January 1, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, including Times Square, said any proposal for Times Square would face massive backlash.

“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, when the Broadway League draws a line in the sand at casinos, it’s going to be hard to get over,” he says. “Broadway is inextricably linked with Times Square and vice versa.”

Catsimatidis couldn’t agree more. He believes the best places to avoid the powerful forces of NIMBYism and traffic jams are near New York’s two major outdoor stadiums: in the Bronx, next to Yankee Stadium, which has the capacity to house “50,000 to 60,000 people,” or in Queens. CitiField, home of the Mets, US Open tennis and “lots of vacant lots and lots of parking.” Catsimatidis also sets a precedent for Staten Island’s north shore, where ferries run from Lower Manhattan and can be reached by car from Brooklyn and New Jersey.

And Catsimatidis isn’t the only developer staying long in New York’s outer boroughs. Las Vegas Sands, founded by the late billionaire and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, said it would not submit a bid for a Manhattan casino, a source familiar with the company’s plans. forbes. Instead, LVS will look at Long Island and Westchester, as well as four other counties. Its ideal location would be a large, multi-acre plot accessible by car, subway, train and plane.

Steven Cohen, 66-year-old billionaire hedge fund founder and owner of the New York Mets, is discussing the possibility of developing a casino with Hard Rock near CitiField in Queens. New York Times.

And real estate developer Thor Equities, founded by Coney Island native Joe Sitt, has announced a $3 billion bid to bring a casino to America’s Playground. Thor will work with Saratoga Casino Holdings, which owns a country racino, Chickasaw Nation, and Legends, a joint venture between the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys.

Thor’s COO Melissa Gliatta says they believe there is only one license, given that existing racinos (Empire in Yonkers and Resorts World in Queens) will receive two of the three new licenses. And as for which borough, Thor thinks Manhattan already has enough charm. “We believe this shouldn’t be Manhattan; it’s Broadway and it has all the charm,” Gliatta says. “We think Brooklyn is a winning place. Why not Brooklyn and why not Coney Island?”

Gliatta says a Coney Island casino could bring “true economic vitality” to the neighborhood. Thor owns five acres of land stretching from Surf Avenue to Wonder Wheel Way and Stillwell Avenue to West 12.pearl Street.

Catsimatidis, who owns Ocean Drive, a two-tower, 22-story apartment complex in Coney on the Atlantic Ocean, says Thor has approached him to become a partner, but hasn’t made a decision yet. He adds that Coney Island is hardly ideal for a mega casino; thinks the region can only support a smaller, boutique casino.

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New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., chairman of the racing, gambling and betting committee, says all doomsday scenarios for casinos in New York sound very familiar.

He remembers all the opposition before Resorts World opened at the Aqueduct racetrack in 2011. turned out to be a really good neighbor,” says Addabbo.

Manhattan is “not a crazy idea,” he adds, especially when you consider New Jersey, the state’s main competitor when it comes to gambling revenue.

“They’re very worried about a casino in Manhattan,” he says. “If one of the ideas is to keep money in our state, how should some of our thought processes be competitive?”

The answer might be to set up a casino as close to New Jersey as possible. But as with everything in New York real estate, opening a casino in Times Square will come down to money, power and politics. And right now, it seems like a remote possibility.

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