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Broadway Cares, 54 Below among latest groups to join coalition opposing Times Square casino

The “No Times Square Casino” coalition continues to gain traction.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS red bucket (Credit: Courtesy of Broadway Cares)

Several groups and organizations have joined the “No Times Square Casino” Community Coalition in opposition to the construction of a casino in Times Square.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the nonprofit organization that provides life-saving support to people around the country, and 54 Below, the Broadway cabaret club, are the latest industry organizations to join the effort.

“At a time when Broadway has made great strides bringing audiences back to the theater, it is difficult to imagine a casino enhancing Times Square and the communities that surround it,” Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares, said in a statement. “The potential downside of a casino in the heart of one of the busiest areas in the country is simply not worth the gamble.”  

“A casino might make sense for an underdeveloped area in need of the economic boost, but certainly not in one of the most active parts of the city,” Tom Viertel, chairman of the board of 54 Below, said in a statement. “As a business operator and resident of this community, I have serious concerns about the long-term, negative impact of a casino in Times Square.”.

Several resident groups have also joined the group, including the West 43rd Street Block Association, the HK49-54 Block Alliance, the West 55th Street Block Association and the West Side Neighborhood Alliance.

Founding members of the coalition include professional associations like the Broadway League, neighborhood restaurants such as Sardi’s and more.