Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Jay-Z Joins Bid To Build NYC's First Casino In Times Square

If you think midtown traffic's a headache now, just wait.

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Shawn Carter hasn’t dropped a solo album since 2017's 4:44, but of late he’s been in deals to sell a majority stake in Tidal and to buy apparel company Mitchell & Ness and is linked to a possible bid, with Jeff Bezos, for the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
Shawn Carter hasn’t dropped a solo album since 2017's 4:44, but of late he’s been in deals to sell a majority stake in Tidal and to buy apparel company Mitchell & Ness and is linked to a possible bid, with Jeff Bezos, for the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision (AP)


If you had to lay money on a developer who could get a casino built in the most crowded tourist trap in America, would you bet on Jay-Z to get it done?

The Brooklynite billionaire said on Monday that he and his Roc Nation entertainment company are part of a three-way plan to build a new gambling den in, of all places, Times Square. Roc Nation would work with developer SL Green, a real estate investment firm that calls itself the largest owner of office real estate in New York, and, of course, Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment on what would be called Caesars Palace Times Square, according to the New York Post, which first reported the project.

Jay-Z’s exact role or investment in the project wasn’t described but allow us to speculate: he’s from New York and arguably the most high-profile, if not connected, artist of his generation in the city. Having him on the team might help lead developer SLG get approval for the project, since multiple companies are rumored to be vying for the New York City’s first legalized gambling license when applications open up next year. Roc Nation itself is a partnership between Jay-Z and Ticketmaster’s Live Nation concert promotion and management arm, so expect to see some sort of live entertainment as part of the package.

Let’s not forget that on 2017's concept album about reaching middle age as a rap mogul, 4:44, Hov lamented the last time he passed on a New York real estate deal:

I could’ve bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo / For like two million / That same building today is worth 25 million / Guess how I’m feeling? Dumbo.

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It’s safe to say that with a stake in Times Square on the table, he doesn’t intend to make the same mistake twice. But speaking of 4:44 and big deals, the casino proposal is a reminder that while Jay-Z hasn’t dropped a solo project in almost six years, he’s been extra busy adding to his empire as an entrepreneur. He was part of a group of celebs who partnered with apparel retailer Fanatics to buy Mitchell & Ness earlier this year, while selling off a majority of the Tidal streaming platform to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s new company, Square, in a deal worth a reported to be worth in the $300 million range.

He’s also rumored to be part of a potential bid with Amazon.com founder Jack Dorsey to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders franchise.