Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
The Broadway League Voices Further Opposition to Potential Times Square Casino

The Broadway League Voices Further Opposition to Potential Times Square Casino

The League shared, "We've looked closely at the facts and the research and believe a casino in Times Square would bring economic and social disruption, not development,"

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, commercial developer, SL Green Realty Corporation and gambling corporation Caesars Entertainment joined a bidding war to obtain a casino license to bring a new gaming and gambling location to Times Square.

The Broadway League sent a letter to its members expanding upon their strong opposition to a casino being opened in Times Square.

Read the letter below:

Dear Member:

You have undoubtedly heard that the Broadway League has come out in opposition to a proposal to open a casino in Times Square. We wanted to lay out to you, our members, why we stand firmly against this latest plan. The Broadway League's mission is to promote live theater and its cultural significance, to safeguard our theaters and the Theater District. Right now, after a long recovery, audiences are rediscovering the magic of Broadway and visitors are returning to the restaurants all around Times Square. Overall, New York City is on track to welcome nearly 57 million visitors by the end of 2022 and to surpass 2019 levels by 2024-far faster than initially projected. Clearly, we are heading in the right direction.

For progress to continue, we remain steadfast in our commitment to preserving the unique character of Broadway - a cultural icon synonymous with New York City - and ensuring that the area is conducive to the return of tourists, business travelers, office workers and theatergoers. The proposed plan to bring a casino to Times Square would introduce widespread economic and operational disruption, unprecedented congestion, and decreased safety and security.

We've looked closely at the facts and the research and believe a casino in Times Square would bring economic and social disruption, not development, to the deeply interconnected network of businesses that have made Broadway and Times Square an international destination.

The overall economic impact of casinos has long been questioned by experts, but a few things are clear:

  • Casinos can bring economic benefits to under-developed areas where there are no competing businesses-not established business districts like Times Square. By design, casino owners do all they can to keep visitors in the casino, gambling. That's why, for example, it's so hard to find a clock or window in any of them. That's why there are no clearly marked exits. And that's why they have so many offerings like restaurants, shops and entertainment venues of their own. Far from driving customers to neighboring businesses, the way theaters do, a Times Square casino would draw customers away from existing area restaurants, many of which are small businesses and constitute an integral part of the Broadway ecosystem. And let's be clear on another point: Whether they come for a day or a week, visitors to Times Square come on limited budgets that would be cannibalized by casino gambling. Every dollar spent at the craps table, roulette wheel or slot machine is a dollar not spent on a play, dinner, or a souvenir. This is cause for alarm.

  • The economic benefits of casinos dwindle over time. At the largest casino in New Orleans, for example - by law the only land-based casino in Louisiana - gambling revenue has declined almost every year since its peak in 2008. By contrast, the Broadway theaters and restaurants a casino would disrupt have proven to grow the city's jobs and economy decade after decade. Pre-pandemic, Broadway generated $14.7 billion in annual economic impact for the State of New York and supported nearly 100,000 jobs in New York City. Broadway shows draw approximately 40,000 people per day to the neighborhood (and nearly twice that number on days with matinee performances) and directly benefit area shops, restaurants, hotels, garages and vendors.
  • With the exception of Las Vegas, casinos don't draw tourists and rely heavily on local gamblers. For the past 15 years, the Broadway League has worked hard to make Times Square more pedestrian friendly and welcoming to visitors. And we've succeeded! A casino that relies heavily on drawing tens of thousands of gamblers each day to an already established business district would significantly increase congestion and crowding around Times Square, without any of the economic boost associated with drawing regional, national and international visitors. In short, we'd get all the costs, and none of the benefits.

Times Square is not Atlantic City or Las Vegas, which exist primarily to promote gambling and are designed accordingly. Instead, what casino operators have proposed for Times Square is an unprecedented and dangerous experiment. As the NY Times has reported, "Casinos built in the center of large cities are rare." Indeed, Philadelphia's two casinos are located "on the edge of the city and surrounded by large parking lots." Other cities, such as Boston and New Orleans, have located casinos on or near the waterfront, and even those have generated significant challenges.

We believe that putting at risk the significant headway we're making, at this crucial moment in the time of the life of Broadway and all of New York, is a bad bet.

That's why we oppose a proposed casino in Times Square.


BroadwayWorld Shop
Shop BroadwayWorld

Shop this season's new musicals! Get dressed up for a night at the theatre, or just a night at home, with merch from some of Broadway's biggest hits including SOME LIKE IT HOT, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, and more!

Start Shopping



Related Stories
TAKE ME OUT Enters Final Week of Performances on Broadway Photo
There are only 8 performances remaining of the 2022 Tony Award Winning Revival of a Play TAKE ME OUT! See how to purchase tickets.

VIDEO: Austin Butler Talks Being on Broadway With Denzel Washington Photo
Austin Butler sat down on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night to discuss starring in Baz Luhrmann's recent Elvis biopic. During the interview, Butler discussed how doing Iceman Cometh with Denzel Washington on Broadway changed his career, crediting Washington has one of the reasons he secured the role of Elvis. Watch the interview now!

Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 1/29/23 Photo
Grosses for all the Broadway shows for the week ending 1/29/2023.

Fox Pens Essay on Her Journey with WICKED- Keep Your Hope Alive Photo
Alyssa Fox is set to take over the role of Elphaba in Wicked at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre beginning Tuesday, March 7th. A Dallas, TX native, Alyssa Fox is fulfilling a huge dream after being a member of the WICKED family for over 13 years. Read her emotional essay about finally taking over the role!


More Hot Stories For You


Bane Griffith Joins MJ THE MUSICAL as 'Little Michael' Beginning TonightBane Griffith Joins MJ THE MUSICAL as 'Little Michael' Beginning Tonight
January 31, 2023

Bane Griffith will be joining the cast of MJ in the role of ‘Little Michael’ beginning tonight, Tuesday, January 31, sharing the role with Christian Wilson. Originally from Houston, Texas, Bane will make his Broadway debut in the production.

CABARET, A NEW BRAIN, and More Set For Barrington Stage Company's 2023 SeasonCABARET, A NEW BRAIN, and More Set For Barrington Stage Company's 2023 Season
January 31, 2023

Barrington Stage Company has announced its 2023 season, that will feature two major musical revivals, two world premiere plays, and two modern classic play revivals. The season kicks off with Cabaret, playing June 14-July 8 on the Boyd-Quinson Stage.

Designers Behind BLACK PANTHER and More Join THE WIZ; Full Design Team Announced!Designers Behind BLACK PANTHER and More Join THE WIZ; Full Design Team Announced!
January 31, 2023

The design team has been announced for the all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz. The Wiz will launch a national tour in Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD before returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in the 2023/24 season. Learn more about the team and the production here!

All New Production of PETER PAN Will Embark on Tour in 2024All New Production of PETER PAN Will Embark on Tour in 2024
January 31, 2023

An all-new production of the timeless Tony Award-winning Broadway classic, PETER PAN will embark on tour in 2024! The new production will premiere at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, MN this December.

Lena Hall, Brittney Johnson, Eleri Ward Set For BROADWAY SINGS ADELE at Sony HallLena Hall, Brittney Johnson, Eleri Ward Set For BROADWAY SINGS ADELE at Sony Hall
January 31, 2023

On February 26 at 7:30pm, a bombshell cast of stars including Tony Award Winner Lena Hall (Hedwig), Brittney Johnson (Wicked), and Eleri Ward (Only Gold) will belt out new arrangements of the hits of the pop superstar Adele, accompanied by a 14-piece orchestra at the beautiful Sony Hall.