Hofstra University is this week the newest opponent of the construction of a proposed New York casino by Las Vegas Sands, an American casino and resort company based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to the proposal, the Las Vegas giant would build an entertainment venue on the site of the Nassau Coliseum in New York, which would consist of a hotel, casino and a big event space.

Latest opponent:

As soon as Las Vegas Sands officially revealed the proposal, it was met with mixed reactions from local stakeholders.

However, Hofstra University is the newest to write an open letter opposing the proposed casino.

Part of the letter states: “The Nassau Hub is an entirely inappropriate location for a casino. 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. 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.”

More opponents:

Beside Hofstra University, the Garden City Village Board voted to be an official opponent of the New York casino proposal. However, the Village Board has no say in the final decision and the vote was seen as a symbolic gesture.

On the other hand, the local community believes that this opposition is seen by both the developers of the proposed casino and the New York regulatory body and that Nassau is not the place for a casino.

On that note, Peter Jacobs of the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association said: “It’s not good for our community, it’s not good for Nassau County. Those casinos bring in crime.” 

However, News 12, a local news outlet, received a statement from Las Vegas Sands, that said: “We look forward to continuing conversations with the village of Garden City and all interested individuals to ensure that this integrated resort is a benefit to everyone.”

A new partnership amid the opposition:

Even though Hofstra supports the students and cites student well-being as a main reason to reject Sands’ proposal, there’s one college in Nassau that believes building this proposed casino in Nassau is a good idea.

It’s Nassau Community College, which has signed a potential alliance to officially become the company’s main training center if the casino proposal goes ahead.

But that’s not all; because the alliance would involve both internships and “experimental learning” for students who decide to give a chance to develop a career at Las Vegas Sands in the future.

In this regard, Dr. Maria Conzatti, acting president of Nassau Community College, said: “The creation of a new industry with thousands of jobs in multiple sectors is a tremendous opportunity not only for our students but for the diverse populations we serve as a community college.

“Enhancing our curriculum with training programs, mentorship and internship opportunities in conjunction with an industry leader like Sands, provides an opportunity for adult students, career changers and all community members to be placed on successful career paths.”

Legislation to regulate online gaming in New York is under discussion. That’s a long shot, however, and the Las Vegas Sands proposal would be the fifth of four existing land-based casinos in the New York, in addition to several OTB (off-track betting) locations with electronic gaming devices.

However, mobile sports wagering in New York has been a huge success with a tax rate of 51% on adjusted gross income, generating record tax revenues.

Because of this, the economic case in New York is strong and has the potential to work in favor of Las Vegas Sands.