Amid the growth of sports betting and its ongoing statewide expansion, New York recently unveiled plans to expand further its gambling options by introducing three downstate casinos. The ambitious project immediately captured the attention of gambling industry giants such as Bally’s, Caesars, Mohegan, as well as Las Vegas Sands.
Now, a new report by NBC New York reveals that Sands has made important progress in the right direction, after securing approval from Nassau County for a lease around the Nassau Coliseum located in Uniondale. On Monday, a vote of the legislators in the country, which was 17-1, gave the green light for a 99-year lease around the Coliseum for the development of a large-scale casino project.
The project, which is far from lifting off for the moment, is planned to include not only a casino but also hotel accommodation and entertainment outlets. Supporters of the Sands project, which has an estimated price tag of $5 billion, claim that it will bring economic stimulus to the region by generating taxes and creating new workplaces.
Still, it’s important to mention that there’s still plenty of time before even construction of the project can begin. This is because to initiate the construction of the casino, Sands needs to first secure a gaming license from the gambling regulator in the state, the New York State Gaming Commission. But as noted, Sands isn’t the only company competing for a license so competition will likely be fierce.
The Secured Approval Marks Only the Beginning for Sands
Ron Reese, Sands’ vice president, shared his excitement about the latest approval acknowledging that this marks a major milestone for the company’s project. He labeled Nassau County’s approval as the beginning of an extensive process.
“This is the jumping off point for this process. It’s no the end, it’s the beginning.“
Ron Reese, vice president of Las Vegas Sands
Matthew Aracich, one of the supporters of the project and president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, explained that the project would help revitalize a property that has been lifeless for four decades. Moreover, he explained that Sands’ plan will help transform the Nassau Coliseum and turn it into a “generator of taxes.”
While supporters of the casino project claimed that it would bring some $100 million in annual revenue and create 8,500 jobs, not everyone agrees with the proposal. Opponents of casino expansion voiced their concerns and organized a rally on Sunday. They noted that a large-scale project involving gambling would result in an increase in the crime rate, as well as traffic in the area.