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Jay-Z Makes Open Plea for New York Casino Licence

Jay-Z, via his entertainment business Roc Nation, is one of the most notable parties interested in casino "golden ticket"

Brian Friedman /

Jay-Z Makes Open Plea for New York City Casino Licence

New York City has been issued with a single casino licence. While great news for Big Apple's casino landscape, it has created a huge bidding war, with various parties eager to be granted the "golden ticket".

One of the most high-profile parties to throw their hat in the ring is Jay-Z. Jay-Z, via his entertainment business Roc Nation, is one of the most notable parties interested in the licence.

The rapper come businessman has teamed up with SL Green and Caesars Entertainment, together proposing the creation of a Caesars Palace in the centre of the iconic Times Square.

The business has made its bid public in an open letter. The open letter, which is aptly named "It's Time, Times Square" was posted to Instagram and Twitter by Roc Nation. The business put its cade forward as to why it should be granted New York City's gambling licence, referencing its ability to draw in more tourists and enhance the life of New Yorkers.

"The winning group must have a track record of turning words into deeds — of putting New York City and its residents first — people of all races, religions, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and socio-economic statuses," the statement said.

Jay-Z's plan entails giving back to New York-based businesses while investing substantial sums in sanitation, security and "deliver a much-needed transportation plan".

"Our bid commits $115 million for diverse theater programs that include daycare for Broadway workers and their families" the letter continues.

In 2013, New York voters agreed on casinos similar to those in Las Vegas. However, elected officials in Albany did not authorise casino licences for downstate New York, including New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County, until 2022. Billionaires are fascinated at the idea of opening a fully functioning casino in the largest metropolis in the US. Other interested parties include New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, Gristedes heir John Catsimatidis and developer Stephen Ross.