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No Times Square Casino Coalition releases results of neighborhood residents survey

The poll found a majority of the 400 locals surveyed oppose the construction of a casino in Times Square.

The No Times Square Casino Coalition has announced the findings of a recent survey regarding the proposed construction of a casino in the Theater District. Commissioned by this coalition and conducted by Tulchin Research, the study surveyed 400 registered voters who live in and around Times Square.

The results show 71% of respondents indicated they oppose a casino in Times Square. Six percent of respondents indicated they do not know their position on the proposed casino.

Specific areas of concern include increased traffic congestion (81% of respondents said the casino would worsen traffic), crime (80% of respondents said the casino would increase crime) and quality of life (80% of respondents said the casino would be a detriment to their quotidian lives).

Across various demographics, individuals who identify as women and older individuals offered the strongest opposition: 77% of all female respondents and 81% of locals aged 55 and older oppose opening a Times Square casino.

Nearly half (49%) of Midtown Manhattan residents indicated they were opposed to building a casino anywhere in New York City, not just the Times Square area. Approximately a quarter (24%) of respondents said they support a casino in New York City if it were built in some other area outside of Times Square. Only 9% of respondents said they thought Times Square was the ideal location for a New York City casino.

“The neighborhood has spoken,” said Jeff Daniel, chief strategy officer of the Shubert Organization (one of the coalition’s members), in a statement. “Too often, people forget that in addition to being a major global destination, the Theater District and surrounding neighborhood are a real community. The people living in this neighborhood overwhelmingly believe a casino would create massive problems, erode their quality of life and set back the progress making this a safe, welcoming place for families.”

“People too often forget that thousands of New Yorkers live in and around Times Square,” added Mark Jennings, executive director of ProjectFIND, another coalition member. “As a nonprofit that serves seniors and other vulnerable people who live in this neighborhood, we’re worried. Casinos can exploit and endanger communities like ours. In this poll, you’re seeing the voices of ordinary people reflected in this debate for the first time — and they don’t want a casino preying on their neighbors.”

Founded in spring 2023, the Coalition comprises Times Square-area businesses, nonprofits, community groups and other organizations that are actively advocating against the proposed casino. Included in the group are the Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, as well as the aforementioned Shubert Organization, which owns and operates 17 of Broadway’s 41 theaters. Other members include 54 Below, American Bus Association, Audience Rewards, Bar Centrale, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Chekpeds, Encore Community Services, Hell’s Kitchen Block Alliance, Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association, Joe Allen, Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association, National Organization for Women, Orso, Project FIND, Sardi’s, Times Square Church, the Ali Forney Center, the Voice of Student Youth and Travel, the West 47th/48th Street Block Association and Westside Neighborhood Alliance.

The full results of the survey, which was conducted between April 22 and 24, can be found here.