Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Wants to Open a Casino in N.Y.C.’s Times Square
Jay-Z is quite the successful businessman; he was the only rapper listed on Forbes’s 2023 billionaire’s list, with a reported net worth of $2.5 billion. After amassing wealth through music and lucrative liquor businesses, the star now has his eye on a new ambitious venture to add to his empire.
Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment agency, recently published an open letter about its plans to open a casino in Manhattan’s Times Square. It begins: “A gaming license is going to be awarded to New York City. A bill was passed in the state legislature confirming it. The question is: which applicant will get the license?”
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— Roc Nation (@RocNation) May 11, 2023
The agency claims “conflicted parties” have tried to spread misinformation, so it “wanted to speak to you, New York City, directly.” The company then lays out qualities it believes that the entity that ultimately receives the license should have, including having a track record of “turning words into deeds” and putting residents of all backgrounds in every borough first.
“Roc Nation and our partners are here to ensure Times Square remains connected to all facets of culture,” the letter states. “There’s no better location for a Caesars Palace entertainment destination than the Crossroads of the World.”
The agency says its plan will support surrounding businesses, benefit local transit, and help the city’s theater district workers. “Our bid commits $115 million for diverse theater programs that include daycare for Broadway workers and their families,” the letter states.
The agency previously announced that it had partnered with SL Green Realty Corp. and Caesars Entertainment for the bid, which the group said will provide billions of economic benefit to New York. But they aren’t the only ones trying to make the deal with the city: Other gambling companies and real-estate developers are in an intense competition to build the the Big Apple’s first full-fledged casino.
But some state and local officials would prefer the city focus on housing before facilitating gambling. Ultimately, the matter will be decided by a state-controlled Gaming Commission, which is expected to announce its decision later this year, according to NBC New York.
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