A while back Las Vegas Sands expressed interest in bringing a downstate casino license to Long Island, New York, however, local communities have spoken against it. Trustees from Hofstra University sent an open letter about the proposed gaming project labelling it “entirely inappropriate.” Also, a group of locals created a group titled Say No to the Casino Civic Association.
The gambling leader is looking to get their hands on one of the three available commercial gaming licenses for downstate New York. The plan is to launch a multi-purpose casino complex in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Along with the casino, the resort is also set to include outdoor community spaces, five-star hotel rooms and a live performance venue.
The Open Letter
In the aforementioned letter, Hofstra trustees commented that the target location for the casino is surrounded by educational institutions from preschool through graduate school, and a range of suburban communities. The letter said that these should not be exposed to the increased traffic congestion, crime, economic harm to businesses, and other negative impacts that a potential casino could trigger.
However, the letter came up with a proposal, as it noted that there are other locations in and around New York City which can home a casino and are not in close proximity to multiple educational institutions where many young people live and educate themselves. The trustees called the casino bid ‘entirely inappropriate’ and are concerned about possible gambling addiction among students.
But, Las Vegas Sands’ Senior VP, David Paterson, responded Hofstra’s concerns were misguided. He explained that the casino would take up to 10% land of the whole proposed site. He commented that the industry has changed over the last few years, and elaborated that Sands and other gambling companies have basically made the who environment family-friendly.
It should be mentioned that a former school president Stuart Rabinowitz is part of the Gaming Facility Location Board, which has a say in which companies will ultimately get the NY licenses. Also, not everyone is opposing the casino project. For instance, one Hofstra student said that a gaming property and the school could be able to exist in the area.
Meanwhile, Say No to the Casino Civic Association, continues its charge against the plan. The organization noted it would change the character of Nassau County and the nearby neighbourhoods. It says it will lead to increased crime, traffic, and noise pollution. The group even started a petition on change.org, which, as of yesterday had 1,900 signatures.
Spending Millions on Lobbying
The battle for the three downstate casino licenses continues to unfold, as recently, Politico revealed some interesting information. It reported that 10 firms who have submitted proposals for a New York casino have spent at least US$7.2 million in the last 14 months. The report also stated that lobbying companies have spent undisclosed amounts for consulting, political strategy and public relations.
Source: Lucas, Grant “Opposition Growing As Sands New York Casino Looks To Lands One Of Three Downstate Licenses” PlayNY, March 29, 2023