June 16, 2024

Residents in the neighborhoods around Times Square strongly oppose the area becoming home to a casino hotel. That’s according to a new poll by Tulchin Research.

Jay-Z New York City Times Square Caesars SL Green
Jay-Z is part of a development group that wants to bring an integrated casino resort to Times Square. Many voters who live in the neighborhood oppose the casino effort. (Image: Getty)

The Times Square casino group is led by Caesars, real estate developer SL Green, and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation entertainment agency, a highly recognizable consortium that has some grass-roots work to do. The poll indicates 71% of those surveyed oppose the casino effort, with 59% saying they “strongly oppose” it while just 23% of voters in the Times Square area back a gaming venue.

This robust opposition cuts across all major demographic groups, including particularly strong objection among women, with 77% opposed (62% strongly opposed), and voters aged 55 and over, where opposition reaches 81% (68% strongly opposed),” noted Tulchin.

Perhaps telling about the intensity of the anti-casino sentiment is the extent to which men living in and around Times Square view the idea in a negative light. Overall, 65% of men in the area don’t favor a gaming venue in Midtown Manhattan while 63% of males in the 18 to 54 age group — a vital demographic for gaming companies — oppose it.

Traffic, Crime Among Reasons Times Square Casino Opposed

Residents’ reasons for not endorsing the Times Square casino pitch are easy to understand. Eighty-one percent believe a gaming venue will worsen traffic in the already highly congested area while 80% believe the property would contribute to more crime. The same percentage believe the casino would make Times Square a less pleasant part of New York in which to live and work.

The point about crime jibes with the findings of a survey by the Situation Group. That poll, released earlier this year, didn’t specifically address the casino plan, but it did reveal that affluent New Yorkers 55 and up living in the suburbs are increasingly reluctant to travel to Times Square to see Broadway shows due to perceptions that crime is increasing in the theater district.

Regarding Broadway, 65% of those polled by Tulchin think a casino hotel would hurt theaters while another 64% see a gaming venue as a potential headwind to area small businesses, including restaurants.

Caesars and SL Green are attempting to allay those concerns. Last year, the companies announced that a variety of businesses in Times Square would be linked to Caesars Rewards to drive customers of the casino hotel to eateries and shops in the theater district.

Times Square Bad Casino Location, Say Voters

According to Tulchin, just 9% of voters queried believe Times Square is the optimal location for a new casino hotel while just 12% said they favor gaming venues being built anywhere in New York City, including Times Square.

In what could potentially reflect overall sentiment toward casinos in the Big Apple, 24% of those polled by Tulchin said they’re OK with a gaming venue in the city as long as it’s not in Times Square, but 49% don’t want new casinos anywhere in the city.

Currently, Caesars and Wynn Resorts are the big names eyeing gaming venues in Manhattan while other competitors are eying the Bronx, Brooklyn, Nassau County, and Queens.

The post Times Square Casino Meets Stiff Opposition in New Poll appeared first on Casino.org.

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