Las Vegas Sands has been eyeing Nassau County's casino market for a while. It plans to develop a casino hotel in the region. But residents are vehemently opposing the gaming operator's plans claiming that it will have more adverse effects in their locality rather than benefits.
The operator intends to transform the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York into a casino hotel. But Long Island residents created the "Say No to the Casino Civic Association." It is a non-political association that will urge Nassau County lawmakers to reject Las Vegas Sands' casino plan.
The residents began a Change.org petition that has around 1,759 signatures and are aiming to get 2,500 signatures. Yet, they hope that the issue will catch local news channels' attention. The association stated that the new casino hotel will change Nassau County and its surroundings.
It will increase noise pollution, traffic, and crime in the region. Also, the casino will add more pressure on the local governments and law enforcers. The resident's association isn't the only organization that is opposing the gaming operator's plan.
Hofstra University discussed a gaming site several weeks ago. The Garden City Village Board of Trustees also opposes Las Vegas Sands' new Nassau casino.
Is Long Island Opposing the Expansion of Its Casino Market?
Las Vegas Sands is one of the gaming operators that are interested in acquiring one of New York's three downstate licenses. Other interested operators include Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Bally's Corporation.
Yet, Las Vegas Sands faces opposition in the region like most other casino proposals. A heated debate is ongoing about allowing new casinos in the Willets Point region and Times Square.
Sands made several agreements in January 2023 to get long-term leases to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Reports state that it will possess 80 acres once the transactions get approved, hence giving it the green light to build a casino hotel.
Rob Goldstein, LVS CEO, stated early this year that the casino will earn Long Island tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue. This will enable politicians to access its property tax relief. The executive added that a Nassau casino will promote local community groups and businesses.
Is There Hope for a New Long Island Casino?
Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Executive, stated in a speech this month that a Long Island casino should fulfill some requirements like offering entertainment and a luxury hotel to improve the county's economy. Also, the casino has to support the local community and create permanent construction jobs.
Blakeman added that the venue needs to concentrate on conventions, entertainment, and dining as gaming is a secondary endeavor. Many people know about Las Vegas Sands' New York City casino license application.
Former New York Governor David Paterson (D), Sands' current senior vice president, said last year that he would influence the company's president to venture into Long Island's promising gaming market. New York gaming regulators might pick the downstate casinos' winners but it hasn't disclosed when it will announce them.