Long Island Casino: Sands’ Proposal Suffers Courtroom Setback

A Las Vegas Sands Corporation proposal for a Long Island casino may have to “start over,” its opponents told Bonus on Dec. 14. That’s because Sands may not have access to the land where it planned to build a $4 billion to $5 billion casino and resort.

Meanwhile, Sands and other would-be downstate New York retail casino licensees don’t know their status yet with the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).

None of the three full commercial casino licenses have been awarded.

Plus, the board the regulator appointed to select those licensees hasn’t formally requested applications as of Dec. 15. That’s despite state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. telling Bonus on Nov. 8 that he’d hoped the retail casino hopefuls would know their status by the end of 2023.

Even so, spokeswoman Allison O’Brien-Silva said the Say No to the Casino Civic Association will proceed as though Sands still plans to build a Long Island casino on the land now occupied by the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 

O’Brien-Silva told Bonus on Dec. 14:

Their proposal is of great concern to our group and we are indeed taking their intentions seriously.

However, her group is taking time to celebrate what it sees as a court victory.

‘It’s Complicated’ Is an Understatement

On Dec. 13, a New York appeals court judge allowed a lower court’s “order and judgment” to proceed. That Nov. 9 decision by Nassau Supreme Court Justice Sarika Kapoor annulled the lease transfer that would’ve allowed Sands to build the casino if it received the state license.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Judicial Department, denied a request from the Nassau County Planning Commission to stop enforcement of Kapoor’s ruling while it appealed her decision.

However, the appellate court is allowing the commission’s appeal of Hofstra University vs. Nassau County Planning Commission to proceed.

O’Brien-Silva’s group supports Hofstra and is still celebrating the court’s decision.

In a statement emailed to Bonus on Dec. 14, Say No to the Casino Civic Association said:

We are pleased that the stay of the State Supreme Court’s decision to annul the lease between Nassau County and the gambling company Las Vegas Sands Corp. has been denied. It is very clear that Nassau County violated Open Meetings Laws and skirted its responsibility to conduct a thorough environmental review when the Legislature voted to approve the lease transfer. It was in an obvious attempt to avoid public input and scrutiny. It is time for County leadership to acknowledge that they did indeed violate such laws, end its wasteful appeal, and start over — this time following our laws and subjecting the lease to both public scrutiny and environment review. We are confident that after a fair and transparent process, it will be clear to both County legislators and residents of Nassau County that any lease transfer that would allow for a massive, predatory casino in the heart of Nassau County should be voted down.

Long Island Casino Case Status

The docket from Kapoor’s case shows Dec. 15 is the “disposition date” for Hofstra University vs. Nassau County Planning Commission. Her court shows the case as closed despite her calendar including a Dec. 22 status conference.

The Dec. 13 higher court decision shows the case will be placed on the appeals court calendar.

So, the status of the proposed Long Island casino remains the same as that of the three downstate New York gaming licenses — wait and see.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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