Nostrand Gardens Civic Association Opposes New York Casino Plan
Posted: January 14, 2023, 4:30 am.
Last updated on: January 14, 2023, 06:39.
Las Vegas Sands is already facing opposition, albeit modest, to its recently unveiled proposal to turn the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY into a hotel-casino.
Members of the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association. They oppose a plan to bring a casino to the Nassau Coliseum. (Image: ABC7 New York)
The gaming company announced that plan on Thursday, and the next day, a small number of protesters gathered outside the arena. The Nostrand Gardens Civic Association, which organized the meeting, said it is concerned about a possible increase in crime associated with a casino and the environmental impact of the project.
It (gaming) only promotes psychological addictions,” said Pearl Jacobs of the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association in an interview with ABC7 New York. “It’s a traffic nightmare, and a pollution and environmental nightmare.”
Sands is vying for one of three downstate casino permits to be granted by New York regulators. But the competition is widely seen as one for a license, as the Empire City slots in Yonkers and Resorts World New York in Queens are expected to be approved to convert to brick-and-mortar casinos. It would command two of the passes in the process.
Growing opposition to New York casinos
In recent months, a number of plans have surfaced for new casino projects in the New York City area, and most have drawn some opposition from local residents. So it was probably only a matter of time before Sands faced a similar situation on Long Island.
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen wants to bring a ballpark to an undeveloped parcel of land near Citi Field, and civic groups in that borough aren’t keen on that plan. In one of New York’s most controversial casino efforts, Caesars Entertainment and real estate developer SL Green want to bring an integrated resort to Times Square.
The effects of opposition to various proposals may play out over time. But in the case of the Sands and Nassau Coliseum, the gaming company said the project would create 12,000 construction and 5,000 permanent roles locally. Data points like those might sway Nassau County locals to buy into the idea.
Companies selected for the trio of state permits will be required to commit at least $500 million in project costs, while paying the same amount to the state in related fees and costs.
Sands New York casino plan is applicable
Former New York Gov. David Paterson (D), now a senior vice president at the gaming company, is the architect of the Long Island casino idea and is one that could pay dividends for Sands. The proposal removes the specter of traffic congestion in Manhattan and Nassau County is a short drive from New York’s major airports.
Additionally, Nassau County is one of New York’s most densely populated regions after New York City. Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman (R) said it’s imperative the county at least hears the proposal.
He will appoint one of the five members of the Community Advisory Committee, which is tasked with evaluating casino pitches in Nassau County. Blakeman said earlier this month that his preference is for a county-integrated resort to be primarily a dining and entertainment venue, with gaming “ancillary” to other offerings.