Las Vegas Sands Long Island Casino Opposition to Host Town Hall

Posted on: October 17, 2023, 12:22h. 

Last updated on: October 18, 2023, 10:58h.

Las Vegas Sands wants to build a $4 billion integrated casino resort at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale but opponents of the gambling plan continue to voice their claims that a Las Vegas-style casino would bring many societal harms to the Long Island community.

Sands Long Island casino Nassau Coliseum
Long Island residents support the Las Vegas Sands casino ahead of the Nassau County Legislature voting for the $4 billion project. Others are opposed to the development because gambling will hurt the Uniondale region. (Image: Las Vegas Sands)

“Say No to the Casino Civic Association” was formed soon after Sands announced its intentions to bid on one of New York’s three downstate casino licenses.

The coveted gaming privileges were authorized through the state’s 2013 commercial casino bill, which included a 10-year moratorium on the state issuing the downstate concessions to allow the four upstate properties to open without competition from New York City, Westchester, or Long Island.

The downstate moratorium is up, and Sands and nearly a dozen other firms are prepping their bids. Next year, the New York Gaming Location Facility Board will begin fielding proposals and grant the three licenses to the best suitors.

Sands is considered a front-runner, as the company has the largest market capitalization of any other gaming firm in the US.

Casino Harms

Las Vegas Sands no longer owns or operates any casinos in the US after selling its Venetian and Palazzo resorts to Apollo Global Management and Vici Properties last year for $6.25 billion.

Sands has long derived most of its annual revenue from Macau, operating five integrated resorts, including The Venetian, Parisian, Plaza, Londoner, and Sands Macau. Sands additionally owns and manages Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, often cited as the “gold standard” of the globally integrated resort industry.

Sands wants to use some of its Venetian/Palazzo Las Vegas proceeds to open an integrated resort on Long Island. However, opponents of the “Say No to the Casino Civic Association” opine that such a destination would negatively impact the area.

The group will host a town hall on Wednesday, October 18, called “The New Epidemic of Teen and Child Gambling: What You Need to Know.” The meeting will be held at the Garden City Middle School at 7 p.m. EST.

Les Bernal, the national director of “Stop Predatory Gambling,” will be among the town hall’s guests. Stop Predatory Gambling, a DC-based nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, works to limit further US gaming expansion. Bernal has testified before countless federal and state committees on the dangers that come with more gaming.

Wednesday night’s event will also include Rob Minnick, a recent graduate of Georgetown University who became addicted to gambling while studying in the nation’s capital.

“Les and Rob will discuss the rising risks of youth gambling given the increasingly easy access to online gambling and the proliferation of brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the country,” the civic group told

Sands Response

Executives at Las Vegas Sands know the typical messaging from anti-casino groups. Company reps say Sands has an array of safeguards that protect its casinos from increasing problem gambling rates where they’re located.

“Sands is dedicated to being a leader in corporate responsibility, anchored by our core tenets of serving people, planet, and communities,” a Sands statement read. “Our ESG (environmental, social, and governance) leadership has led to inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for World and North America and recognition as one of Fortune’s ‘Most Admired Companies.'”