Jay-Z, Roc Nation Join Caesars Palace Times Square Casino Bid

Written By Bill Gelman on December 6, 2022

Jay-Z is the newest name appearing on Caesars Entertainment’s Times Square marque. Roc Nation, the full-service entertainment agency founded by the American rap star, is joining the partnership bid with Caesars and SL Green, Manhattan’s largest office landlord, to bring a state-of-the-art casino gaming facility to 1515 Broadway.

The news broke via press release earlier today. The multi-time Grammy winner and his company will help revitalize Times Square by partnering with neighborhood organizations to re-imagine programming in the district’s famous “bow tie.”

“New York is a beacon, the epicenter of culture. We have the opportunity to create a destination at the heart of Times Square, the true crossroads of the world,” said Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter. “My partnership with SL Green and Caesars, this coalition, has all the promise and commitment to economic opportunity, growth and enrichment for the community, and everyone who visits the Empire State.”

Jay-Z knows a little something about NYC entertainment, performing sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.

What we know about Caesars Palace Times Square bid so far

Back in October, Caesars Entertainment and SL Green announced plans to redevelop a Time Square site into a “a premiere entertainment and gaming destination.” The project, for now, is being called Caesars Palace Times Square.

And according to Monday’s announcement, this Caesars NYC project will generate 7 million new visits to Times Square. Besides bringing New Yorkers and tourists back, it will drive billions in economic benefit to Broadway and local businesses.

By comparison, Atlantic City hosts 27 million visitors a year.

Because Caesars Palace Times Square is in the very early stages, there are no specific details regarding the casino floor, restaurants and entertainment amenities. There are no guarantees this group, even with Roc Nation on board, will get the green light to build a downstate casino.

Rendering of Caesars Palace Times Square

‘There’s no better partner than Jay-Z and Roc Nation’

From a business perspective, Jay-Z joining the Caesars Palace NYC bid is generating excitement.

Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said “We are thrilled to have Roc Nation and JAY-Z join our partnership to bring Caesars Palace to Times Square.

“They are one of the most pioneering entertainment groups in the world, with New York embedded in their DNA,” said Reeg. “Times Square has been the heartbeat of American Entertainment for over a century. Through our shared vision, we will build a world-class destination specifically designed to complement and elevate today’s Times Square experience, ensuring it remains a magnet for visitors and a hub of creativity for years to come.”

Marc Holliday, Chairman & CEO of SL Green, agrees with Reeg by saying “There’s no better partner than JAY-Z and Roc Nation to help Caesars Palace Times Square ensure that Times Square remains a global entertainment hub and an economic engine for New York.”

“Together, we will bring the nearly 130 million annual pedestrians a stronger and more exciting Times Square to visit, reunifying the bow tie around a new set of innovative programming that will appeal to New Yorkers and tourists.”

Specific details regarding the “innovative programming” were not included.

What about Jay-Z in Atlantic City?

Since the Caesars Palace Times Square plans are in the extremely early stages, New Yorkers and North Jersey residents will wait and see where things go from here. And if they’re looking for land-based casino gambling, there are options.

They can visit one of the New York Upstate casinos that offer slots, table games and sports betting. The other is driving down the Garden State Parkway to visit one of the nine Atlantic City casinos. However, this Jay-Z, Caesars Entertainment partnership does not extend to the three properties the gambling giant operates in NJ. They would be Caesars Atlantic City, Tropicana AC and Harrah’s Resort.

Jay-Z is no stranger to the Atlantic City market. Besides performing at Boardwalk Hall, his 40/40 Club was open for a number of years, neighboring Caesars AC. Others might recall Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce performing at the former Revel (now Ocean Casino Resort) in 2012 as part of the grand opening weekend.

Currently, there are no upcoming Jay-Z or Beyonce concerts planned for Atlantic City.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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