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Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Joins SL Green, Caesars In Times Square Casino Bid

Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z.

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports agency has become an official partner on SL Green and Caesars Entertainment’s attempt to secure one of the coveted new casino licenses up for grabs for New York City.

The agency, which Jay-Z founded in 2008, announced on Monday it was joining as the official entertainment partner for the proposal to create a gaming facility at 1515 Broadway.

Roc Nation said it “will help revitalize Times Square by partnering with neighborhood organizations” as part of the bid, which would entail the development of a property branded as Caesars Palace Times Square.

"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," Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter said in a statement. "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."

Downstate New York is set to get three new casino licenses, and multiple real estate developers have formally announced plans for casino ventures in recent months. SL Green and Caesars revealed as their bid a plan to redevelop 1515 Broadway, which houses the Minskoff Theater where the Lion King plays and Viacom's world headquarters, in October.

As part of the proposal, the companies said they would roll out significant security and traffic improvements as part of the project. Specifically, they plan to deploy surveillance drones, The New York Times reported.

“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,” SL Green CEO Marc Holliday said in statement. “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.”

The field of potential candidates for the licenses is becoming increasingly crowded. Related Cos. is teaming up with Wynn Resorts with a plan to build a casino on the undeveloped western half of Hudson Yards. Late last month, Thor Equities announced it is joining with Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation and Legends in the bid for the beachside casino at Brooklyn’s Coney Island.

L&L Holding Co. and Vornado are also said to be interested in the licenses in Manhattan and Steven Cohen, owner of the New York Mets, has reportedly spoken with casino and resort company Las Vegas Sands about putting a gaming center in Willets Point, next to Citi Field and where Major League Soccer club NYCFC is building 25,000-seat stadium.