Nassau County to Redo Lease Approval in Bid to Help Las Vegas Sands

Posted on: April 25, 2024, 09:33h. 

Last updated on: April 26, 2024, 09:05h.

Nassau County officials will reconfigure a previously reached lease agreement with Las Vegas Sands pertaining to the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY to help the gaming company procure one of three downstate casino licenses.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman. The county will rework its Nassau Hub lease pact with Las Vegas Sands to assist the gaming company’s casino bid. (Image: YouTube)

Last May, Nassau County legislators voted 17-1 in favor of granting Sands a 99-year lease to develop county-owned land on the Nassau Hub site. It was later reported that the gaming company paid $241 million for those rights. Last November, New York State Supreme Court Justice Sarika Kapoor annulled that accord, saying that Hofstra University, which brought the case against the county, demonstrated that the manner in which the county transferred the lease to Sands was “an attempt to avoid public scrutiny.”

That ruling was upheld in February with the court noting the county violated New York’s environmental review and open meeting laws.

In spite of delays and changing circumstances, we are fully committed to deal with Sands to bring a world-class hotel, entertainment center, casino and spa to Nassau County,” said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, in a statement to News  12.

Sands has yet to comment on the new lease deal.

Hofstra Rift Leads to Nassau County Woes for Sands

LVS wants to build a $6 billion casino hotel at the Coliseum hub, a site that has gone underutilized since the New York Islanders moved to Brooklyn following the 2014-15 season.

Hofstra has been a vocal critic of the Long Island casino plan and the university’s legal maneuverings were viewed by some legal experts as a potential stumbling block to what’s widely been viewed as one of the most viable of the downstate casino pitches.

The rift between the county and Hofstra intensified earlier this year amid speculation that representatives of Hofstra have been in touch with a lobbyist with ties to New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International, who are bidders for a Queens casino license. That prompted Blakeman to levy allegations of collusion against the college.

Hofstra’s position has been that it doesn’t oppose integrated resorts in the New York City area, but it doesn’t want one close to campus.

Next Steps for Nassau County, Sands Not Yet Clear

For now, the next steps that will be taken by Nassau County and Sands aren’t clear nor has either stakeholder commented on whether or not there be financial ramifications of a reworked lease agreement.

A potential outcome is that by Nassau County altering the lease transfer pact, the county could quash the Hofstra case, thus removing an obstacle to Sands’ efforts to pursue a New York gaming license.

On the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call earlier this month, CFO Patrick Dumont said the New York bidding process lacks clarity and has been “confusing and disappointing.”