Nassau County strikes Las Vegas Sands deal for new casino
Nassau County is placing their bet on Las Vegas Sands.
On Wednesday County Executive Bruce Blakeman signed a lease agreement to give the corporation complete control over the Nassau Coliseum site.
"Within sixty days of approval by the County Legislature, Las Vegas Sands will write the County of Nassau a check for $54 million dollars," Blakeman said.
The $4 billion project will be an "integrated resort" with hotel rooms, live entertainment, restaurants and spa along with a casino.
There’s no official word on whether the Coliseum itself will stay.
(FOX 5 New York )
"We’re going to make money, we’re not here for a charity but you’ll make money with us," said Rob Goldstein, CEO of Las Vegas Sands.
The county will make the most money if the Sands is granted a New York commercial gaming license. If approved, the deal would bring more than $100 million in annual revenue to the county, the Town of Hempstead and surrounding communities. According to officials, the money would also go towards increased policing in the area.
But opponents including Hofstra University and residents said it’s nothing to celebrate.
"We don’t need it here," said Patrick Dowden who lived nearby. "We could use senior housing for when people like me get older."
Those who live near the site are concerned about quality of life issues.
"It’s the casino," said another resident. "The increase in drug trafficking, increase in prostitution."
The lease agreement will go through the Nassau County planning commission this week, there will be a public hearing at some point in May before a full bill takes place. At least 10 of the 19 legislators have to approve it.
"I’m very confident that when they review this lease agreement they’ll realize it’s a great deal for the residents of Nassau County and the workers of Nassau County," Blakeman said.
The Sands is among one of a handful of corporations applying for three casino licenses in the State.