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Saks unveils stylish plan for casino at Fifth Avenue store


Saks Fifth Avenue finally tipped its hand, confirming plans to bid for a casino license on the highest floors of its flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

The posh department store between East forty ninth and East fiftieth streets, next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, released exclusive images to The Post for a casino that can bring high rollers to the house of high fashion.

The renderings show stylishly dressed guests, seated at roulette tables, posh bars and upholstered chairs, clinking cocktails. They enter the constructing via a separate entrance on a red carpet that extends out onto the sidewalk and opens into an enormous lobby area with multiple chandeliers and plush decorative rugs. 

The casino would take up three floors, starting on the ninth, where servers will likely be wearing black tie and hand out champagne flutes to gamblers, Richard Baker, executive chairman and chief executive of HBC, the Toronto-based company that owns Saks told The Post.

“The casino at Saks will attract an affluent global tourist and never prey on individuals who shouldn’t be in casinos,” Baker said. 

Ever since last 12 months when the state announced it might issue three recent licenses for Las Vegas-style casinos within the metro region, Baker has been drafting the plan, he said.  

“We’ve been quietly working with community groups including Broadway theaters, retailers and [elected officials] and we have now loads of support for a distinct form of casino in Latest York City,” Baker said.

A part of his pitch is that Fifth Avenue desperately needs an attraction that can increase foot traffic on the enduring shopping avenue, especially at night when the stores roll up their doors.

“All of us who live in Latest York City have seen an erosion of activity on Fifth Avenue, which is one in every of the most beneficial attractions within the US and is vitally essential for NYC,” Baker said.

A high-end casino will bring lights, security and activity to the famous corridor, Baker said.

The century-old store has a lot of competition for the prized casino license. A minimum of five billionaires are gunning for the license, for which applications were recently made available, in keeping with people conversant in the method.

Mets owner Steve Cohen, real-estate scion Stefan Soloviev, Gristedes CEO John Catsimatidis and Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross have expressed interest in a license.  Music mogul Jay-Z also has partnered with real estate developer SL Green and Caesars to bring a casino to Times Square, which has been opposed by the powerful Broadway League. 

Servers will likely be wearing black tie and hand out champagne flutes to gamblers.Saks Fifth Avenue

A coterie of influential groups, including the powerful hotel union, supports the plan, in keeping with Baker. He said Broadway theater owners wary of a casino that might compete for tourist dollars also backed his plan.

Baker declined to comment on whether it might partner with any established casino operators.

He estimates that the Saks casino could possibly be developed inside a 12 months versus competitors who’re proposing recent developments that might take a few years to finish.

The trendy Saks casino could be much like the one featured within the James Bond movie “Casino Royale,” in keeping with Baker.

“In Monte Carlo they’ve fancy casinos so why not in Manhattan,” Baker said. “Why should Manhattan have one other slobby casino. … We’d like spectacular.”

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