Casinos outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City have long been associated with Native America Nations; but during his tenure as governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo negotiated a deal that allows other organizations to own and operate a casino in the state of New York.

The latest location being proposed for a casino is New York City; more specifically Times Square!  The SL Green Realty Corporation and Caesars Entertainment are proposing to take over 1515 Broadway – the current home of the Minskoff Theatre which is currently the home of the award winning musical “The Lion King”.

The reaction to the news is varied with The Broadway League issued a statement stating that they do “not endorse the casino in Times Square.”  The statement continued, “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.”

However, the Actors’ Equity Association supports the proposal saying, “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.  We applaud the developer’s commitment to make the neighborhood safer for arts workers and audience members alike.”

The proposed project would include the casino, a hotel, and restaurants.  Instead of taking down the Minskoff Theatre, the project would be built over the theatre.

Understandably there are a number of concerns over the proposed casino including the impact of the theatre industry itself, the economy of the area, and safety concerns.

The proposal is up against another casino project by Related Companies and Wynn Resorts for a casino at Hudson Yards.

New York state Senator Brad Hoylman whose area of representation includes Times Square noted, “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.”