TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan — Could there be a casino in Times Square?
Some developers hope so. Still, lawmakers PIX11 News talked with say that while casinos in our area could be a good thing, Manhattan should be off the map.
As New York looks for new sources of revenue to bounce back from the economic crisis left behind by the pandemic, developers say a gaming facility would be a jackpot.
One developing company has its eyes set on Herald Square. Real estate developer L&L Holding wants to include a casinoon 47th street and Broadway, a reported $2.5 billion, 46-story tower that would include a theatre and hundreds of hotel rooms.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, the chairman of committee on racing, gaming and wagering, says a Midtown casino would not work.
“Traditionally, casinos go where economic need is and Times Square is certainly not one of those sites.
Sen. Brad Holyman tweeted Thursday in agreement.
“Vacant office space in midtown should be used to address existing problems in Manhattan, like the severe shortage of supportive and affordable housing, rather than create new problems, like gaming and casinos,” he wrote.
While the state can issue three new casino licenses in 2023, lawmakers are hoping the state grants early approval this year for casinos in the city to help with revenue and avoid raising tax dollars.
Sen. Addabbo says allowing the two existing casinos in our area that only have slot machines and electronic games, to upgrade into full-scale casinos and include table games with dealers would do just that.
“We currently have two operating casinos in Yonkers and Queens, if they would be given full license it would create jobs and educational funding.”
As the state faces a $15 billion shortfall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal which was released earlier this week would allow the state to put out a formal request for information from developers and gaming companies for the licenses.