NEW YORK (KTLA) — Years ago, Jay-Z declared that he isn’t a businessman. He’s a business, man.
The “Blueprint” rapper’s ventures have surpassed music with stakes in Uber, a luxury champagne brand and a music streaming service, among other things.
Now, Hov is hoping to open a casino in New York City’s Times Square.
The Brooklyn native’s company, RocNation, published an open letter obtained by TMZ detailing its plans for a casino within one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
“A gaming license is going to be awarded to New York City,” the letter began. “A bill was passed in the state legislature confirming it. The question is: which applicant will get the license? Some conflicted parties have attempted to spread misinformation, so we wanted to speak to you, New York City, directly.”
The letter then laid out the company’s business plan that would “enhance the lives of everyday New Yorkers,” and it gave examples of how the casino would do just that.
The list includes giving back to surrounding businesses, various mass transit benefits and protections for the “true heart and soul of Broadway,” such as actors, producers, theater staff, writers, etc. The plan also proposes to provide funds to take care of sanitation and security from “the bowtie all the way west into Hell’s Kitchen.”
“Caesars Palace Times Square will benefit all of New York—the hotel and restaurant workers in the area, retailers and surrounding neighborhoods,” the letter continued. “Our bid commits $115 million for diverse theater programs that include daycare for Broadway workers and their families.”
The letter was published in the New York Post, New York Daily News and Amsterdam News, according to Complex.
In December 2022, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, joined SL Green and Caesars Entertainment for the initial casino bid.
The Broadway League has adamantly opposed the move.
“Far from driving customers to neighboring businesses, the way theaters do,” the League wrote to Deadline. “A Times Square casino would draw customers away from existing area restaurants, many of which are small businesses and constitute an integral part of the Broadway ecosystem. Every dollar spent at the craps table, roulette wheel or slot machine is a dollar not spent on a play, dinner, or a souvenir.”
The proposed casino is set to be built at 1515 Broadway, the same building as Disney’s musical “The Lion King,” which is right in the heart of the city’s theater district.
TMZ reports that the casino will be built on the “top eight floors” of the existing building.
At the end of the open letter, RocNation promised that if they win the bid, they’d honor the “city and dreams of New York City and the people that have made this place we call home the cultural and entertainment capital of the world.”
“This is our moment, our opportunity to capture the energy of Times Square and invest in our city,” the letter said. “You’re a New Yorker, you get it.”
Jay-Z’s group is reportedly the only proposal for a casino in Times Square. Their competition includes Wynn Resorts and Mets owner Steve Cohen. Each proposal has different locations around New York City.
The state of New York is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.