February 26, 2024 3 min read


Las Vegas Sands Faces Further Trouble in New York

The State Supreme Court rejected the operator’s casino license, endangering its plans for a $4 billion casino complex at the Nassau Coliseum

Las Vegas Sands’ grand plans for a multi-billion dollar resort and casino in Uniondale have suffered another significant setback. State Supreme Court Justice Sarika Kapoor, who previously invalidated Sands’ lease with Nassau County, has declared that the company lacks a valid lease for the Coliseum and its surrounding land. Significant public pushback to the project further complicates the situation for the operator.

This newest ruling is part of an ongoing legal battle involving Hofstra University, Nassau County, and Las Vegas Sands. Last April, Hofstra filed a lawsuit, alleging that the county violated the state’s open meetings laws when approving the lease transfer to Sands. Kapoor had earlier ordered the county to restart the process and conduct an environmental review before considering a new lease.

The court decision bolsters Hofstra’s position, emphasizing the importance of public hearings and environmental reviews before any Nassau Coliseum transfer or development. Adam Schuman, a Hofstra attorney, stated that no developments could occur without the opportunity for public input regarding such critical decisions for the county’s future and praised the new ruling.

The Court has issued another important ruling needed to protect the public’s rights under state and county laws.

Adam Schuman,  Hofstra attorney

Nassau County argued that Sands held leaseholder rights under a private deal with Nassau Live Center LLC, the Coliseum’s former tenant. Despite Kapoor’s previous rulings, the county proceeded with development plans, including environmental and zoning reviews with the Town of Hempstead. However, these may have been for naught, as the high-profile project faces rising pressure amidst substantial competition.

Ongoing Difficulties Threaten to Jeopardize the Project

Las Vegas Sands, seeking one of three coveted New York gaming licenses, paid Nassau Live Center LLC approximately $241 million for the Coliseum lease. This agreement formed the base for Sands’ bid for a gaming license. Kapoor’s recent decision specifies that any new lease agreement must be in writing, complying with Nassau County administrative code and Open Meetings Law.

Even if Sands overcomes this hurdle, the company still faces significant challenges. The operator’s plea for a tax exemption riled tensions with locals, uniting residents and businesses against the operator. Casino opponents claim the negative impacts of such a large-scale venue would outweigh the potential economic benefits, changing the neighborhood’s character and increasing crime in the area.

Despite ongoing difficulties, the legal wrangling continues, with the county appealing Kapoor’s November ruling on open meetings law violations. Allegations of collusion between Hofstra University and Sands competitor Hard Rock International add another layer of controversy to the case. Meanwhile, other New York casino applicants mark steady progress and could snag the limited licenses.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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