Growing ‘No Times Square Casino’ adds Broadway Cares, 54 Below

Broadway marquee in Times Square
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The theatrical community of New York City continues to be vocal about its opposition to the proposed joint venture casino project between Jay-Z and Caesars in Times Square.

The No Times Square Casino Coalition gained prominent new members last week who join the forces of what was already a strong list of area restaurants, community organizations, and the Broadway League.

The two most high-profile new additions are the charitable organization Broadway Cares and the cabaret venue 54 Below.

“At a time when Broadway has made great strides bringing audiences back to the theater, it is difficult to imagine a casino enhancing Times Square and the communities that surround it,” said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “The potential downside of a casino in the heart of one of the busiest areas in the country is simply not worth the gamble.”   

“A casino might make sense for an under-developed area in need of the economic boost, but certainly not in one of the most active parts of the city. As a business operator and resident of this community, I have serious concerns about the long-term, negative impact of a casino in Times Square,” added Tom Viertel, chairman of the board of 54 Below.

While the NY Gaming Facility Location Board continues to draft responses to the hundreds of questions submitted by potential licensees, another potential project has come to the fore. Real estate mogul Larry Silverstein announced he is teaming with Parx Casino owner Watche Manoukian on a project a few blocks away from the heart of Times Square on a piece of property he owns at 11th Ave and 41st St.