Las Vegas Sands’ proposed casino on the site of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, New York, is facing considerable opposition from local residents who claim that opening a gaming venue in the area would not be in their best interest.
Earlier this year, Sands unveiled a proposal to build a gaming resort on the Uniondale property. The multibillion-dollar project still requires approval to acquire the long-term lease of the proposed site.
Nassau County residents recently formed a non-political movement dubbed the ‘Say No to the Casino Civic Association’ in opposition to the plans. The association aims to approach the policymakers of the county about refusing Sands’ proposal.
“This casino will change the character of Nassau County and the surrounding neighborhoods and will lead to an increase in crime, traffic and noise pollution. It will also put a strain on our local law enforcement and governments,” the association claimed.
The group has also set up a petition on Change.org which has garnered over 1,760 signatures and aims to reach 2,500 to push local news outlets to cover the story.
“This casino will change the character of Nassau County and the surrounding neighborhoods and will lead to an increase in crime, traffic, and noise pollution. It will also put a strain on our local law enforcement and governments,” the Change.org petition stated.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman spoke about Sands’ proposed casino during his March 1 State of the County address. There, he revealed that the casino proposal could only be approved if it was “world-class, with a luxury hotel and entertainment component; it must bring significant revenue to the county and surrounding areas, including construction and permanent jobs; and third, it must have the support of the community”.
There have been several concerns raised about the new casino possibly increasing crime in the area, impacting water and air quality, and decreasing property value. Trustees of Hofstra University published an open letter objecting to the new casino claiming that the Nassau Hub was an inappropriate location for a casino due to the large number of students around.
“It is surrounded by educational institutions from preschool through graduate school, and a diversity of suburban communities that should not be exposed to the increased traffic congestion, crime, economic harm to local businesses, and other negative impacts that a casino development would likely bring,” the letter read.
“There are other locations in and around New York City to site a casino that are not in such proximity to multiple educational institutions where so many young people live and learn.”
The Garden City Village Board of Trustees has also expressed opposition to the plan. Several other residents have requested a different project to be built on the property.
Sands promised that the resort project would have four- and five-star hotel rooms, outdoor community spaces, and a live music venue in honor of Nassau Coliseum’s considerable history of live music. It would also produce several thousand job opportunities and tens of millions of dollars in taxable revenue.
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