Nassau County greenlights lease agreement with Las Vegas Sands for NY casino

Sands intends to develop a $5bn casino resort.
Sands intends to develop a $5bn casino resort.

The Nassau County Legislature voted 17-1 to approve the deal.

US.- The Nassau County Legislature has voted 17-1 to grant Las Vegas Sands a 99-year lease to develop the 72-acre area around the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island. It plans to develop a $5bn integrated resort with a casino.

The deal requires Sands to pay the county $60m up front regardless of whether it is awarded one of the casino licences. Rent for the property will start at $5m a month but would double to $10m a month if Sands obtains one of the three casino licences that the State of New York will grant for the downtown area. 

Labor and business leaders are among the supporters who have maintained that the project will create 8,500 jobs and generate an estimate $100m in annual revenue around the Coliseum.

Nassau County executive Bruce Blakeman said in a statement after the vote: “The overwhelming bipartisan approval of lease terms with the Sands by the County Legislature affirms that Nassau County has made the right decision.” 

“This is the first hurdle overcome to provide a world-class entertainment center with a luxury spa and hotel, creating thousands of jobs and economic prosperity for Nassau County. I am very pleased with the vote.”

Sands Chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein said the vote was “an important step in our company’s efforts to secure a New York gaming licence and ultimately develop a world-class hospitality, entertainment and gaming destination…we are proud of the widespread coalition we have built with our new neighbours across Long Island. We are grateful for the trust they have placed in us and look forward to continuing to collaborate with the community.”

Local resistance to casino plans

Trustees of Hofstra University published an open letter raising concerns about Las Vegas Sands’s plans for a casino resort at the Nassau Coliseum site. The letter notes that 40,000 students, ranging from children to graduate students, attend schools in the area, and that as such “The Nassau Hub is an entirely inappropriate location for a casino.”

Residents have formed a nonpartisan group called Say No to the Casino Civic Association, which is calling on the county legislature to reject the proposal. They have started a petition against the gaming facility. 

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