Las Vegas Sands Pitches Nassau Coliseum for New York Casino
Sensing opportunity, the Las Vegas Sands entered New York’s casino sweepstakes, setting its sights outside of the city.
The Sands entered into an agreement to purchase the long-term lease of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site in Uniondale on Long Island, News 12 Long Island reported. Financial terms of the agreement, which requires further approval for the county-owned land, were not disclosed.
Sands is willing to spend up to $4 billion on the project, according to Newsday. Officials from the company said the project would move forward even if the site isn’t awarded one of the three downstate gaming licenses to be awarded by the state.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman told the publication he would “keep an open mind” regarding Sands’ proposal, but was waiting for the community to weigh in.
The Sands’ plan for the 80 acres includes community spaces, four- and five-star hotel rooms and a live performance venue. There would be restaurants, convention space, a day spa, a swimming pool and health club and other entertainment programming.
Another element of the company’s proposal is a casino, said to represent less than 10 percent of the project’s total square footage. It’s the latest entry into the race for one of New York’s three downstate gaming licenses, two of which are already expected to be spoken for.
It’s not clear how the half-century old arena fits into the Sands’ vision.
The lease covers the largest tract of undeveloped land in Nassau County, according to the company.
Many attempts have been made at reviving Nassau Coliseum. In 2020, Nick Mastroianni II took over as the facility’s leaseholder, partnering with RXR’s Scott Rechler on the $1.5 billion mixed-use “Nassau Hub” development. Construction was set to begin last March, more than a year after the New York Islanders left for UBS Arena in Elmont.
Sands is joining a crowded competition for a gaming license. Related Companies, SL Green Realty, Thor Equities, Stefan Soloviev and Steve Cohen are among those aiming to land one. Regulators are expected to favor two sites that already have gambling — Aqueduct Racetrack and Yonkers Raceway — leaving only one license up for grabs.