Nassau County Casino Land Ruling Put On Hold By Court

Date: November 12, 2023, 07:50h. 

Last updated on: November 12, 2023, 07:50h.

Late on Friday, the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court has delayed a state Supreme Court ruling that had blocked the lease transfer of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. This property is where Las Vegas Sands is looking to build a new casino hotel.

Hofstra University Nassau Coliseum Sands casino
The Nassau Coliseum. The appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court ruled Nassau County’s lease transfer on the Coliseum with Las Vegas Sands can proceed. (Image: Newsday)

The appellate court’s decision indicates that the previously announced 99-year lease agreement between Nassau County and Sands can move forward until a hearing on the appeal is held on November 21.

For far too long, the Coliseum site known as The Hub has been languishing in a twilight zone of inaction,” said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman. “We are grateful that the Appellate Division granted a stay of the lower court’s decision, and we’re confident the lower court’s ruling will be overturned. I will continue to stand for the proposal by the Sands to develop a world class luxury hotel, spa, entertainment center, and casino which will bring $5 billion in construction, good paying permanent jobs and tax relief for our residents.”

Blakeman has long supported the idea of using the Coliseum land as a casino resort site, but he has also emphasized the need to focus on dining, entertainment and convention business for Long Island.

How Sands, Nassau County Got Here

The appellate division ruling came about after Hofstra University sued Nassau County in April, claiming that the lease transfer agreement breached New York’s Open Meetings Law.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Sarika Kapoor agreed. In a ruling issued last week, the judged noted Hofstra proved that the county purposefully didn’t allow for public comment on the lease transfer.

Nassau County “engaged in improper segmentation by not considering the future development planned by Sands, the Court finds that the Nassau County Legislature did not take the requisite ‘hard look’ at the relevant areas of environmental concern raised by the lease transfer,” wrote Kapoor in the decision.

Las Vegas Sands said Kapoor’s ruling doesn’t impact its Nassau County plans nor does it believe the decision hinders its odds of landing one of the three downstate casino permits that New York regulators will award in the future.

Nassau County Casino Has Detractors, Supporters

Including Blakeman, Long Island policymakers from both parties support the casino effort, believing it could create jobs and boost local tax collection. Local businesses also believe a casino venue would benefit the area economically.

However, Hofstra, the Say NO to the Casino Civic Association and the Uniondale Nostrand Gardens Civic Association are among the entities that oppose a casino resort coming to Long Island.

“This is no place, this is not the right venue, this is not the right county for a casino project of this magnitude,” Pearl Jacobs, of the Uniondale Nostrand Gardens Civic Association, told News12. “It would be the equivalent of seven football fields – it would be right in the middle of 60,000 students from graduate school all the way down to kindergarten.”

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