Nassau Legislature approves Nassau Coliseum lease transfer to Las Vegas Sands
The full Nassau County Legislature approved the Nassau Coliseum lease transfer to the Las Vegas Sands Monday - paving the way for the possible development of a casino and entertainment resort.
Seventeen out of 19 legislators voted in favor of the lease transfer, following a contentious public hearing that went on for over five hours.
The entertainment company's $4 billion proposal would include hotel rooms, restaurants and a performance space. A casino would also be built if a gaming license is granted by New York state.
Opponents of the development say a casino would fuel problems with gambling, as well as increase traffic and crime in the area.
"Our quality of life is not for sale," said Pearl Jacobs, of the Nostrand Garden Civic Association. "Say yes to our youth, to save our youth. Say yes to preserve our quality of life. And say no to the casino."
Supporters of the entertainment resort say the project will create thousands of good paying jobs for the community.
"That money stays here - doesn't go elsewhere," says Matthew Aracich, of the Building & Construction Trades Council. "That means all the money you guys generate will go to schools, commitments, to make sure you can do everything you can to build your communities, to provide opportunities."
Las Vegas Sands still has some obstacles to overcome - including zoning approval from the Town of Hempstead.
They also need a gaming license from the state to operate a casino. The company, however, says they plan to build a resort whether or not the license is given.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman released a statement after the vote saying, "The overwhelming bipartisan approval of lease terms with the Sands by the County Legislature affirms that Nassau County has made the right decision. This is the first hurdle overcome to provide a world class entertainment center with a luxury spa and hotel, creating thousands of jobs and economic prosperity for Nassau County. I am very pleased with the vote."