You’ve got to hand it to the bricks-and-mortar guys. They might have taken a beating from Covid. But in The States, at least, they’ve come back stronger than ever, seen the scene and are now set to conquer it all over again.
Traditional titan Caesars Entertainment, for example, has got bold plans to redevelop a chunk of New York City’s iconic, but jaded, Times Square and they’ve co-opted billionaire rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation vehicle to sprinkle some stardust on the venture.
Meanwhile, back in gaming central, a.k.a. Las Vegas, casino real estate trust Vici Properties has moved to buy-out its partners Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust and take full control of their jointly-owned MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay Resort.
It’s going to cost Vici a whopping US$4.27 billion to complete the deal, of which US$3 billion is debt that matures in 2032.
Returning to Caesars Times Square venture, which will be the first-ever casino in lower New York State, Jay-Z, in keeping with a man who’s forged a fortune from selling superlatives, states unequivocally: “New York is a beacon, the epicenter of the world.”
While both London and Paris may have something to say about this, there’s no denying that Times Square continues to exert a dynamic, if jaded, pull.
Through all its post-war ups-and-downs, personified by “The Great White Way” of Broadway and the porno-sleeze of “The Deuce”, it continues to boast impressive annual footfall of 130 million.
“My partnership with SL Green [property developers] and Caesars has all the promise and commitment to economic opportunity, growth and enrichment for the community, and everyone who visits the Empire State,” continued Jay-Z.
Sounds like the rapper is getting a PR agency to write his lyrics these days.
Come to think of it, it’s been a while since he had a meaningful hit.
Get this offering from his wife Byoncé, from her latest song “Break My Soul” :
“I’m ‘bout to explode, take off this load,
Bend it, bust it open, won’t ya make it go?
Yaka, yaka, yaka, yaka, yaka, yaka…………
Yes, indeed, say no more.
But renaissance, as previously reported in these ages, is certainly the theme behind the proposed new Caesars casino, which is set to feature a live trading floor to cash-in on the current New York sportsbook boom.
The grapevine whispers that other heavy-hitters, such as Las Vegas Sands, Universal Entertainment and Wynn Resorts, are set to follow Caesars’ casino suite.
As for Caesars–as gambling, increasingly, enters the US mainstream, and co-opts stars across the celebrity spectrum–they’ve chosen to build their New York house on the world’s most famous rapper and his Roc Nation.