Hofstra University raises concerns about Sands casino proposal at Nassau Hub
Is another casino in the cards for Long Island? The Las Vegas Sands Corporation hopes to get approval from the state to build a casino at the Nassau Hub. Winning over the community, though, has not been easy.
Hofstra University sits across the street from the Nassau Hub, where dozens of acres of blacktop surround the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The university's president, Dr. Susan Poser, said she and their Board of Trustees strongly oppose any casino project there.
Dr. Poser spoke out about the growing issues of mental health and addiction facing college students post-pandemic and raised concerns that a nearby casino could create problematic gambling.
"A lot of our students work. If they become addicted and even just start to enjoy it, they could easily lose money that they have worked hard for," said Dr. Poser. "It could have a real snowballing effect on their education and their ability to move forward in life."
RXR currently holds the development rights to the property and previously had plans to use the location for a mix of housing, restaurants, office and retail space.
Las Vegas Sands announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase the long-term lease to build a new resort hotel, entertainment and casino complex – if approved by the state. The company is vying for one of three downstate New York gaming licenses.
The resort property would also feature celebrity chef restaurants, a day spa, swimming pool and health club, meeting and convention space—including ballrooms—and a variety of other entertainment programming.
Ron Reese, a senior vice president at Las Vegas Sands, said casino gaming would represent less than 10% of the project's total square footage.
Opponents are also worried about the traffic congestion this proposal would create.
The Nassau Hub Transit Initiative will hold a virtual hearing Wednesday night on a plan aimed at easing traffic around the Coliseum, which includes adding more LIRR connections.
Dr. Poser said the new plans fall short of the Hub's true potential and only offer a short-term outlook.
"I think it's also time to educate the community about what typically happens with casinos," Dr. Poser added. "They peak and they bring in a lot of money, a lot of tax revenue, for a few years, and then it tends to turn down."