Las Vegas Sands awaits final court decision on Nassau casino

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The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has granted a stay on a State Supreme Court Judge’s ruling that a lease agreement between Las Vegas Sands and Nassau County for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum violated state law.

In January, Sands announced its intention to secure one of the up to three downstate New York gaming licences via a multi-billion dollar casino project on Long Island, entering agreements for a 99-year lease of the Nassau property in Uniondale, east of New York City.

However, on November 9, New York Supreme Court Judge Sarika Kapoor blocked the agreement, ruling in favour of a lawsuit by Hofstra University against Nassau County which claimed the agreement breached New York’s Open Meetings Law by not allowing for public comment on the lease transfer.

Kapoor’s ruling stated that Nassau County “engaged in improper segmentation by not considering the future development planned by Sands, the Court finds that the Nassau County Legislature did not take the requisite ‘hard look’ at the relevant areas of environmental concern raised by the lease transfer”.

Not long after the judge’s ruling, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court issued a stay of the court’s decision to block the agreement until an appeal hearing on that ruling takes place.

According to the WABC, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman commented: “For far too long the Coliseum site known as The Hub has been languishing in a twilight zone of inaction. 

“We are grateful that the Appellate Division granted a stay of the lower court’s decision, and we’re confident the lower court’s ruling will be overturned. I will continue to stand for the proposal by the Sands to develop a world-class luxury hotel, spa, entertainment centre, and casino which will bring $5bn dollars in construction, good-paying permanent jobs, and tax relief for our residents.”

A spokesperson for Sands added: “Las Vegas Sands is proceeding proudly and enthusiastically with our proposal for an integrated resort and entertainment centre at the Nassau Hub.

“We are grateful for the wonderful response we have received from the Long Island community and we will be continuing our very comprehensive outreach as we present this transformational project.”