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Compliance Updates

SL Green and Caesars Entertainment Announce Pursuit of New York Gaming License for World-Famous Times Square

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TCaesars Entertainment Recognized as Best Employer for Veterans by Forbes America

 

SL Green Realty Corp. and Caesars Entertainment announced a partnership to redevelop 1515 Broadway as a premiere entertainment and gaming destination in the heart of Times Square, one of the most visited destinations in the world. Caesars Palace Times Square will not only provide billions in tax revenue to New York City and State, it will also accelerate New York’s economic recovery through strategic partnerships with area businesses utilizing its industry-leading loyalty program Caesars Rewards, home to more than 65 million members. Caesars Rewards members will be able to use credits at Broadway shows, local hotels, restaurants, retail stores, comedy clubs, entertainment venues, and more, driving more tourists to area businesses and creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs in and around Times Square.

In addition to major economic benefits to all Times Square stakeholders, SL Green and Caesars are proposing significant security and traffic improvements as part of their proposal, which would boost Mayor Adams and the NYPD’s efforts in Times Square. These efforts will make visitors feel safer, improve mass transit, encourage pedestrian travel, and mitigate vehicle congestion in the area, pursuant to a proposed traffic plan to be included as part of the project.

Caesars Palace Times Square will be designed to include a Broadway Theater for The Lion King. The development will also bring Caesars Entertainment’s more than 50 years of globally-recognized excellence in entertainment, food & beverage, and gaming to New York to deliver a best-in-class experience that will be authentic and complementary to the Times Square entertainment district.

“We believe that Times Square offers the best location for a new resort casino that can attract tourists and benefit local businesses. We’re excited to pursue this license with Caesars and our many local partners. Our approach will ensure that under-represented communities benefit both in terms of employment and investment opportunities,” said Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green. “A casino in Times Square is in keeping with existing uses in the area. Times Square is the center of the entertainment universe. Because we are proposing a renovation, once the license is issued, we can open quicker than other facilities, which require entirely new construction, changes in law, and will be disruptive to their local communities.”

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“Caesars is thrilled to partner with SL Green in connection with a five-star project that will meet and exceed New Yorkers’ expectations for world-class entertainment, immediately enhancing New York City’s tourism engine and elevating this one-of-a-kind global destination to new heights,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars. “As one of the largest mobile sports books in New York, Caesars is passionate about New York itself. Caesars is also deeply invested in New York-based restaurant groups, chefs, and entertainers from across the Empire State.”

Actors’ Equity stated, “The proposal from the developer for a Times Square Casino would be a game changer that boosts security and safety in the Times Square neighborhood with increased security staff, more sanitation equipment, and new cameras. We applaud the developer’s commitment to make the neighborhood safer for arts workers and audience members alike.”

“Carmine’s has been in business in Times Square for over 30 years, and the public-private investments that were made in the late 90s and early 2000s literally transformed Midtown,” said Jeffrey Bank, President and CEO of the Alicart Restaurant Group, which operates Carmine’s and Virgil’s BBQ. “It is time for us to reinvest again – Times Square is the beating heart of New York, but everyone in Times Square is still hurting from the pandemic. The Caesars Palace proposal is the key to bringing tourists back, making Times Square safer, and is exactly the economic driver we need to not only recover but continue to grow and create more jobs.”

“A successful bid will provide a much-needed boost to area theaters, hotels, restaurants, and businesses and commit to fund a wide range of neighborhood initiatives and improvements to make Times Square the safest, cleanest, and most pedestrian-friendly entertainment district in the world,” said Michael Prohaska, Business Manager of Laborers’ Local 79. “This would mean bringing thousands of good union jobs to Midtown and enabling innovative new training and apprenticeship programs — initiatives that will provide disadvantaged community members with pathways to sustainable employment.”

“A trip to New York isn’t complete without a visit to Times Square – it’s the crossroads of the world,” said Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which franchises 38 hotels in Manhattan and the Great State of New York. “A project of this scale and scope will help bring more tourists back to Times Square, fill hotel rooms not only here, but all across the City and create great jobs at the same time.”

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“We know how to bring crime rates down in Times Square because we’ve done it before. With better security infrastructure and 24/7 monitoring, we can anticipate and prevent crime – we just need the financial and political willpower to do so,” said former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton. “SL Green and Caesars’ proposal for Times Square goes beyond routine, in-house security and would invest millions in a new public-private safety initiative. This investment will ensure Times Square is safe for years to come.”

Caesars is the largest North American gaming operator with more than 50 casino properties across its portfolio, retail and/or mobile sports betting in 27 jurisdictions, and iGaming in five jurisdictions. Caesars Palace Times Square will be 100% privately funded. Caesars will license its brand and manage the operations under a long-term management contract.

In addition to its breadth of experience in operations and development, Caesars prides itself on its 30-year legacy in responsible gaming. Since creating the industry’s first responsible gaming program in 1989, Caesars has devoted millions to organizations working to combat problem gaming. Its pioneering responsible gaming training program reaches every Team Member through Operation Bet Smart, a required company-wide course devoted to problem gaming awareness training, and Project 21, a required class focused on preventing underage gambling. Additionally, the company has more than 1,600 Responsible Gaming Chairpersons and Ambassadors who are specially trained to assist guests who may show signs of a potential gaming problem.

Recently named to the Civic 50 as one of America’s 50 Most Community-Minded Companies, Caesars’ PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework ensures it acts with integrity and care for its Team Members, communities, and the environment, with stated goals around environmental impact, diversity, equity and inclusion, and community support. Among those goals is a commitment to increase representation of women and people of color in leadership roles to achieve full gender and racial parity by 2025, the promise to reduce water consumption by 20% per square foot by 2035, and a pledge to divert from landfills 65% of all waste generated at our properties by 2030.

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Compliance Updates

NJ Governor Murphy Establishes Task Force to Support Responsible Gaming

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 360, establishing a Responsible Gaming Task Force responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Governor’s Office and to the Attorney General regarding reforms to support responsible gaming and to address problem gambling in New Jersey.

A rise in problem gambling has been observed over the past few years, according to a 2023 report from the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies. The Rutgers study estimated that 6% of New Jersey residents are at high risk for problem gambling, which is significantly higher than the national average of 1-2%, with the highest rates affecting Black/African American or Hispanic residents.

“New Jersey is known to be a gaming destination with historic locations like Atlantic City, amusement gaming at the Jersey Shore, notable horse racing venues, and more. This Task Force will see to it that we maintain our global leadership in gaming by ensuring that we have the tools needed to address problem gaming for our residents,” said Governor Murphy.

“I applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership in elevating responsible gaming initiatives through the establishment of a statewide task force. New Jersey has been a national leader in casino and sports wagering for many years, and we owe it to our residents to review and expand our existing efforts on problem gambling. This task force demonstrates that ‘responsible gaming’ is not merely a buzzword in New Jersey, but a critical issue that demands the attention of government entities, industry, and stakeholders. As Chair of the task force, I’m eager to get underway in examining ways to help bring attention to and support the prevention and treatment of gambling disorder,” said Attorney General Platkin.

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The responsibilities of the Responsible Gaming Task Force will be to review several areas of the problem gambling landscape, including the effects on underage and vulnerable communities; develop strategies to achieve responsible gaming; and make recommendations for policy changes to address the issue of problem gambling.

Members of the Task Force will consist of seven government representatives or their designees, including:

The Attorney General, who shall serve as Chair;

The Chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission;

The Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;

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The Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement;

The Director of the Division of State Lottery;

The Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission; and

The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

The Task Force may consult with experts, representatives of regulated entities, or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector with respect to any aspect of its mission.

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Compliance Updates

Flows Now Registered in New Jersey

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Technology solutions provider Flows is now officially registered as an active vendor in New Jersey.

James King, CEO of Flows, said: “Receiving approval as a vendor in New Jersey is a next natural step for us at Flows as we accelerate our North American expansion. It highlights the dedication and effort of our entire team and aligns with our mission to deliver cutting-edge innovation platform to the US market. A big thanks to our fantastic client Light & Wonder who supported our registration as well as a big shout out to North America’s finest legal outfit Saiber LLC (Jeremy and his team) for their expert guidance throughout this process.”

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Compliance Updates

Aruze Gaming Announces Rapid Expansion Throughout North America and Asia

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Aruze Gaming Global (AG2) has announced rapid expansion throughout North America and Asia. AG2 has now met the rigorous requirements and has been granted approvals from the following jurisdictions, across North America and Asia. These new gaming licenses dramatically expand AG2’s addressable markets in more than 160 new jurisdictions, including recent approvals in Macau (SAR) China (DICJ), Philippines (PAGCOR), Pennsylvania, Virginia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and dozens more that are in process. Additionally, AG2 is establishing offices and distributorships in the Netherlands, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam to further extend its international reach. AG2 has now been granted licenses for over 160 gaming jurisdictions world-wide, up from just 76 licenses in August of 2023.

This accomplishment marks a substantial expansion for AG2, solidifying its commitment to providing cutting-edge gaming solutions with the highest standards of regulatory compliance. The recent approvals underscore the company’s dedication to fostering strong relationships with its partners across the globe while ensuring responsible and transparent gaming practices.

Kelcey Allison, Global Chief Operating Officer, said: “The timing could not be better for the new gaming licenses. Coupled with the recent release of several new titles that are performing at 2 to 3 times house average – thus giving us some amazing new content for our existing and newly accessible markets.”

Betty Zhao, SVP of International Operations, said: “Our explosive growth and high-performing new content is fueling a lot of excitement with our new customers.”

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