Las Vegas Sands is preparing a bid to launch a casino resort in Nassau County, New York, however, Long Islanders are opposing it.
Recently locals have formed the Say No to the Casino Civic Association and have started a petition on Change.org to voice their disapproval of the site. Currently, the petition has 1,759 signatures, while they aim for at least 2,500.
Last year the Empire State fast-tracked the issuance of the three downstate casino licenses, with the start of 2023, the Gaming Facility Location Board started the process of Request for Applications. The panel will now accept and review bids from third-party candidates who must be ready to pay US$500 million in licensing fees, as well as invest another US$500 in the site.
-Locals Do Not Agree
Say No to the Casino Civic Association believes that if the proposed casino project comes to life it would change the character of Nassau County and the nearby neighbourhoods. It says it will lead to increased crime, traffic, and noise pollution, while also putting a strong on the local law enforcement and governments, said the organization which is not politically affiliated.
The association is not the only Long Island group which has voiced its discontent with the Las Vegas Sands bid, as previously Hofstra University also spoke against a gaming amenity and backed that position. In addition to that, the Garden City Village Board of Trustees is also not a fan of a casino in the area and said the proposal should be rejected.
Las Vegas Sands is not the only company to face local discontent with its casino proposal for downstate New York. In fact, this has happened to several of the candidates. This includes Caesars Entertainment’s bid for Times Square and the Steve Cohen bid for a gaming property in City Field, Queens. Local support is also a massive factor in a bid’s chances of getting the green light from the state.
Back in January 2023, speaking on its bid Las Vegas Sands informed that it has already entered into several agreements to acquire the long-term leases pertaining to the site that’s home to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Once transactions are finalized, the gaming leader would take control of up to 80 acres, and potentially develop its casino resort, if it gets a license.
However, the company’s proposal has also attracted some proponents, such as Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who in March, pitched some of the must-haves at the new site. He said it should include a luxury hotel and entertainment component; it must bring significant revenue to the county and surrounding areas, including construction and permanent jobs; and third, it must have the support of the community.
- The Competition
As already mentioned, Caesars Entertainment, along with SL Green and Roc Nation are pushing for a gaming property in Times Square. Initially, their bid was opposed by several groups in Manhattan, however, it was also supported by a coalition of theatre workers, musicians, small business owners, hotel operators and construction unions.