Las Vegas Sands, a leading gambling and resort company, has declared its intention to establish a $4 billion integrated casino resort at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, despite objections from locals who believe that a Las Vegas-style casino could inflict substantial societal harm upon the Long Island community.
In response to Sands’ rather controversial move, the “Say No to the Casino Civic Association” was formed shortly after the company announced plans to bid for one of New York’s three sought-after downstate casino licenses. These licenses signify a significant move in New York politics, having been made legally operational by a state bill in 2013. The bill instituted a 10-year pause on such licenses to enable four upstate properties to launch without regional competition from New York City, Westchester, or Long Island.
Now, with the waiting period over, Las Vegas Sands is honing its bid amidst stiff competition from nearly a dozen other companies. The New York Gaming Location Facility Board is set to start reviewing proposals next year, eventually allocating these valuable licenses to the most compelling applicants.
Given that Sands boasts the highest market capitalization of any US gaming firm, it’s being viewed as a leading contender in this race.
It’s worth noting that Las Vegas Sands no longer operates any casinos in the US, following the sale of its iconic Venetian and Palazzo resorts to Apollo Global Management and Vici Properties last year for a staggering $6.25 billion. However, a significant portion of the company’s annual revenue stems from its five integrated resorts in Macau and its Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore, which sets a globally recognized ‘gold standard’ for the integrated resort industry.
The proceeds from the Venetian/Palazzo Las Vegas sale may be funneled into the new Long Island facility. However, opposition from entities like the “Say No to the Casino Civic Association” underscores communal concerns about potential negative impacts on the region.
To voice these apprehensions, the group is organizing a town hall meeting titled “The New Epidemic of Teen and Child Gambling: What You Need to Know.” The assembly will bring together various stakeholders, such as Les Bernal who leads a DC-based nonprofit “Stop Predatory Gambling,” intent on curbing the gaming industry’s expansion, and Rob Minnick, a recent Georgetown University graduate who developed a gambling addiction while studying in Washington.
Las Vegas Sands is familiar with the defenses raised by anti-casino entities and assures detractors of the rigorous safeguards it employs to prevent elevated gambling problems in areas where they operate.
According to a company statement, “Sands is dedicated to being a leader in corporate responsibility, anchored by our core tenets of serving people, planet, and communities. 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.'”