Nassau County Casino Land Ruling Put on Hold by Court

On November 12, 2023, the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court made a decision regarding the lease transfer of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, where Las Vegas Sands plans to build a new casino hotel. The court put a hold on a state Supreme Court ruling that had previously blocked the lease transfer, allowing the 99-year lease pact between Nassau County and Sands to move forward until an appeal hearing on the ruling takes place on Nov. 21.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman expressed his gratitude for the appellate division’s decision, stating that the site has been “languishing in a twilight zone of inaction” and expressing confidence that the lower court’s ruling will be overturned. He also emphasized the economic benefits of the proposed casino resort, which includes the creation of good-paying permanent jobs and tax relief for residents, as well as the development of a world-class luxury hotel, spa, and entertainment center.

Blakeman has been a vocal supporter of using the Coliseum land as a casino resort site, but has also stressed the importance of focusing on dining, entertainment, and convention business for Long Island.

The appellate division’s ruling was a result of a lawsuit filed by Hofstra University against 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 with the lawsuit, noting that the county did not allow for public comment on the lease transfer and failed to consider the future development planned by Sands.

Las Vegas Sands stated that Kapoor’s ruling does not impact its Nassau County plans and does not hinder its chances of obtaining one of the three downstate casino permits that New York regulators will award in the future.

Support for the casino effort comes from Long Island policymakers of both parties and local businesses, who believe it could create thousands of jobs and boost local tax collection efforts. However, there are also detractors, including Hofstra, the Say NO to the Casino Civic Association, and the Uniondale Nostrand Gardens Civic Association, who strongly oppose the casino resort, citing concerns about the impact on the community, including the size and location of the project.