Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum made a lease transfer of Las Vegas Sands’ land to develop a $4 billion casino in Uniondale, New York. But a New York State Supreme Court justice annulled it on Thursday.
Nassau County lawmakers voted 17-1 in May 2023 giving Las Vegas Sands a 99-year lease to construct a gaming property. The gaming operator disclosed in January that it would focus on acquiring a Nassau County gaming license. Nassau Live Center, LLC, the previous leaseholder received $241 million from Sands earlier this year.
Still, it paid $54 million to Nassau County as the lease agreement states. The county’s politicians from both divides and many vocals support Vegas Sands’ gaming interest in New York City. However, Hofstra University opposes its proposed project.
It filed a case in April 2023 accusing the county’s officials of negotiating with Sands without involving the public. This contravenes the city’s open meeting regulations if the allegations are true.
Justice Sarika Kapoor stated in her ruling that the university proved that the county officials opted to avoid the lease transfer’s public review and it wasn’t due to technical issues. However, Sands defended its project claiming that Kapoor’s decision won’t deter its New York gaming license plan or reduce its winning probability.
What’s Next for Nassau County?
Kapoor’s ruling added that Nassau County concentrated on the lease transfer’s technicalities rather than its likely impact on local communities. Sands stated that its proposed gaming project will create many job opportunities, and increase revenue for New York and Nassau County. It comprises an entertainment venue, restaurants, and a hotel.
The Say NO to the Casino Civic Association claimed that the casino would increase traffic and crime in the area. It wants more research to be conducted on its impact on traffic and the environment. Nevertheless, no one has done a traffic study on the region.
Instead, Sands opted to concentrate on Long Island so as not to cause a traffic snarl in Manhattan. It made a land-use request in Hempstead in August 2023 since the casino hotel will affect it.
Has New York Concluded Its Casino License Process?
The state allowed the issuance of three downstate casino licenses in 2022, hence attracting prominent gaming operators. But the process hasn’t yet ended. Its lawmakers ought to have picked the three license holders next year.
Even so, they are likely to do so in 2025. Scott Sibella’s alleged involvement in illegal sports gambling might adversely affect Resorts World New York and Empire City Casino’s license bids.
The Say NO to Casino Civic Association terms Justice Kapoor’s latest ruling as a warning for other casino campaigns in the state. Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Executive violated all county, state, and federal laws while backing the lease transfer. The group adds that he ignored the residents’ right to comprehend the project’s impact in their lives.
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