In the eyes of the Broadway League, the national trade association for the theater industry, a casino should not be center stage in Times Square.

The League is leading some of the fiercest opposition to a casino coming to the neighborhood, vehemently fighting a proposal from Caesars and real estate developer SL Green to build one in a tower on Broadway.

"Why would we want something that would risk the number one or number two reason people come to New York?” asked Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League. “We believe the casino will harm Broadway, and will certainly create congestion that we don't need, and will hurt our theatergoers whether they are from London or Paterson, New Jersey."

What You Need To Know

  • Local elected officials will have veto power over whether casino applications can move forward, so community opposition and protests can weigh heavily on their decisions 

  • Many of the proposals are facing mounting community opposition, from lawsuits to protests 

  • For the major gaming and real estate companies vying for one of three commercial casino licenses, community opposition might pose a major hurdle

They're behind a "no casino in Times Square" coalition — a very public effort to try to sink the plan.

Simultaneously, SL Green and Caesars have created their own website, and their own coalition who support the proposal.

"We think this project will win if everyone in Times Square benefits economically, and we expect to have tremendous overflow,” said Brian Agnew, senior vice president for Caesars Entertainment. “We think it’s a powerful combination to be able to put a boutique style casino here with a small boutique style hotel, something that is quintessential New York."

For the major gaming and real estate companies vying for one of three commercial casino licenses, community opposition might pose a major hurdle. Support from local elected officials is a must for applications to move forward.

And already, protests and opposition are quickly organizing across the city to lower the odds, like in Coney Island.

Developer Thor Equities, the Chicasaw Nation, Saratoga Casino Holdings and hospitality company Legends have joined forces to pitch a casino and hotel in the storied neighborhood.

They're calling it "The Coney."

"The casino portion of this, which seems to bristle some people, is a small portion of it,” said Robert Cornegy, a former councilman now pitching the project to the community. “There's a convention center. There's hotels. And there is no convention center or anything like that in South Brooklyn, anywhere in South Brooklyn."

Cornegy says they have thousands of signatures in support.

"The hope is that this will be what it used to be,” he said on a brisk morning on the boardwalk earlier this spring. “We used to come here and you couldn't get a space on the beach. I don't want that. Every business in this area says, ‘If I can just get some more foot traffic.’ If they can just get more eyes on their business, that's what I am hoping for."

Local community board leaders say the deck is stacked against the proposal. They say residents don't want it.

"Not here. We're already congested,” said Lucy Mujica Diaz, the chair of Community Board 13 in Brooklyn. “We already have enough people here."

They cite congestion, a fear of rising crime and that the casino will entice people that can't afford to gamble.

"If you're in a low-income community, as I said, some people want to make a quick dollar, and that will be a problem here when they can’t make that quick dollar, because you don't always win,” she said. “The house always wins."

Community boards have come out against other proposals all across the city. The community board in Times Square opposes that proposal.

Another is against a casino being built over the Western Rail Yards in Manhattan.

And another one has come out against a proposal to build a casino on the east side of Manhattan south of the United Nations. That’s the Soloviev Group and Mohegan project. They want to build a casino, housing and a museum in the nearly 7-acre space.

"We want something that the community can use, that has amenities for the community,” said Michael Hershman, the chief executive officer of the Soloviev Group. “We're talking about a gaming facility which would only take up less than 10%  site, a hotel with about 1,500 rooms, two residential buildings, a portion of which would be affordable housing, probably over 500 affordable housing units."

The community board, though, says they have significant concerns about the project.

"No community organization in New York City has come out in favor of a casino, but what we're trying to show them is the additional amenities we bring to the table that is in support of the community,” Hershman said. “We're dealing with it through education."

Other applicants might have even bigger challenges. On Long Island, a proposal by Las Vegas Sands has sparked litigation.

Neighboring Hofstra University is suing Nassau County, claiming it violated the state's open meeting laws when considering the project. The university is opposed to the casino.

But last month, the county executive there endorsed the project anyway, and announced an extensive lease agreement with the company to sign over the property.

Steve Cohen's project to build a casino in the parking lots of Citi Field has drawn some protests — but it also faces an additional hurdle.

The asphalt is technically parkland. The project needs the state Legislature to approve legislation to officially change its use. 

That's on top of the other approvals every other project needs. The local assemblyman is taking up the cause.

"It's never been a park,” said Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry. “It's been a parking lot and the public has no access to it other than what Citi Field allows. We have conditioned the alienation with certain things happening, restaurants happening, an exhibition center, a food hall, things that will be there to attract people beyond just the baseball and the casino."

Another casino operator, Bally's, would need a similar piece of legislation to turn a slice of the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx into a casino.

"The 17 acres, that's actually not the golf course,” said Soo Kim, the chairman of Bally’s Corporation. “It's really the parking lots, the club house and the practice areas."

It could also need city approval to assume the Trump organization's license for the golf course. As part of its proposal, Bally's is promising to get rid of the Trump name, too.

"Even if we were to just do the 17 acres and leave the course as is, the name would change," Kim said.

Perhaps that's something that could win over this community, which is predominantly Democratic blue.

With so many potential applicants, there are a lot of people placing bets on who might be ahead in this game. It's unclear as of this point whether New Yorkers themselves will win.