Las Vegas Sands is vying for one of the four available licenses for a casino development in downstate New York. Their proposed $4 billion redevelopment of the Nassau Hub in Uniondale at the former home of the New York Islanders hockey team has received support from local institutions, including Long Island University and Nassau Community Colleges. However, Sands is facing opposition from Hofstra University, which argued that the casino project would increase crime, gambling addictions, and traffic in the area. Hofstra’s president, Susan Poser, fears it would also affect air quality and the overall quality of life in the community.
The situation has escalated with Nassau County accusing Hofstra and Hard Rock of collaborating to undermine Sands’ development. County Executive Bruce Blakeman alleges that Poser received an allegedly compromising email from a lobbyist for Hard Rock, Michael McKeon, discussing plans to oppose the casino development, in favor of Hard Rock’s own $8 billion project near Citi Field in Queens. Nassau County Planning Commission approved the land lease agreement with Sands in April 2023. However, Hofstra, led by Poser, filed a lawsuit and a New York State Supreme Court Judge ruled in November 2023 that the county violated state laws when closing the lease agreement. The county has filed a series of appeals, leading to a repeated process. Hard Rock denies any involvement in the alleged collaboration, stating they are committed to integrity and transparency in the license application process.
Poser is scheduled to appear before the county leadership to address the allegations. The battle for the downstate casino license in New York continues, with Sands and Hard Rock competing for approval amid accusations of collaboration and conspiracy. The fate of the redevelopment plans and the casino license in downstate New York remains uncertain as the competing parties continue to vie for support and approval.