Roc Nation & Caesars Palace host free event to promote Times Square casino bid

Joe Torres Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Roc Nation & Caesars Palace push to open casino in Times Square
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Roc Nation, Caesars Palace and SL Green Realty, who hope to win the bid for a casino, hosted a free event for Hell's Kitchen residents and workers. Joe Torres has the story.

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then what happened Monday afternoon in Hell's Kitchen was a well-planned success.

The folks at Roc Nation, Caesars Palace and SL Green Realty, who hope to win the bid for a glitzy casino in Times Square, held an eight-hour free lunch and dinner buffet at The Purple Tongue for people who live and work in the area.

Those who showed up got a quick sales pitch about the economic benefits and employment opportunities, a meet-and-greet with entertainer Fat Joe, and a friendly request to sign a letter of support.

"We're really trying to ensure that we continue to fortify the Times Square area and give folks what they desperately need and that is financial relief during this time," said social justice advocate and IMPACT Strategies CEO Angela Rye.

"When you have black and brown ownership, then you are going to have a reflection of you," said Fat Joe. "The true diverse New York City is gonna be in the casino representing you and in the community."

The community event was a complete surprise to the President of the 3,000 member Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association.

Aleta LaFargue vehemently opposes the casino bid and described today's food giveway as a Broadway song and dance show.

"Our concerns are about over-congestion. Our concern is about crime," said LaFargue. "And just the fact that I think it's really a predatory business."

'The Broadway League' and a coalition of Times Square restaurants, community organizations, and residents also stand firmly against any plan for a gaming facility.

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