Las Vegas Sands 99-year lease approved in Nassau County, NY

May 24, 2023
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Nassau County voted 17-1 to grant lease to potential casino location, though some Long Island citizens still protest.

After the signing of a preliminary document in April for the potential development of a Las Vegas Sands resort in New York City, The Nassau County Legislature voted 17-1 Monday night to grant a 99-year lease. The $5bn casino, entertainment and housing project has been both supported and contested voraciously by the local community.

Opponents staged a protest in Long Island earlier this week and locals brought either “Say No to the Casino”  or “Yes to Sands” signs to the local legislature meetings. The protest, though unsuccessful, has inspired some residents to take their case to Albany, where a final decision will be made.

While this brings Las Vegas Sands even closer to a potential New York locale, a casino license must still be awarded and an environment review must be carried out. No casino can be built unless Sands wins one of three available licenses. As well as applications from other industry titans like Caesars, Mohegan and Bally’s, Sands must compete against existing racetrack locations with slot machines already available.

Matthew Aracich, the President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, was in favor of Sands developing the area, saying, “It's taking a property sitting there for more than four decades and giving it life, to make sure it's a generator of taxes.”

Las Vegas Sands VP, Ron Reese, said, "This is the jumping-off point for this process. It's not the end, it's the beginning.”

Governor Kathy Hochul, who will also be part of the approval process later this year, said, "We have an opportunity to create thousands of jobs for people in hospitality for people who haven’t come back because of the pandemic.”

Gaming America looks at others applying for a casino license in the May/June issue.  

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