Hofstra University Sues Nassau Planning Commission Over Casino Hearing

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on April 20, 2023 - Last Updated on May 19, 2023
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Hofstra University filed a lawsuit against the Nassau County Planning Commission over a proposed $4-billion casino at the Nassau Hub in Uniondale.

Hofstra claims the commission violated state open meeting laws when holding a discussion about the proposed Las Vegas Sands entertainment complex. Sands is in the middle of the bidding process for one of the three available New York casino licenses.

The proposed project at Nassau Coliseum is near Hofstra University and should include a casino hotel and an event space. The property lease was transferred to Las Vegas Sands for the possible casino development at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Hofstra Takes Legal Action Against Nassau Planning Commission

The casino proposal in Uniondale has already faced strong opposition from Hofstra University. School officials state concerns about increased traffic jams, crime and economic harm to local businesses.

With those things in mind, Hofstra filed a lawsuit at the New York Supreme Court in Mineola on April 18. The university claims the commission did not properly notify the public and provide materials about the lease transfer of the Nassau Coliseum. Hofstra’s legal team also argues the commission:

  • Violated executive session rules by meeting with Sands representatives in private
  • Held a meeting before the lease negotiations were complete
  • Voted early to close public comment at the end of the meeting

As cited in Island360, Hofstra spokeswoman Terry Coniglio said in a statement:

“We are asking that the Planning Commission commit to a fair and transparent process. To this point, the Planning Commission’s hearing did not comply with the law and we have been forced to ask the court to ensure that the public receives the information it deserves and a fair opportunity to be heard on this important matter.”

NY casino proposal in Nassau has supporters and opponents

Two more organizations have also opposed the Nassau Coliseum lease transfer to Sands. The Say No to the Casino Civic Association and the Nassau Coalition for Responsible Development are both against this transfer.

The proposal does have support from Long Island University and Nassau Community College. Both institutions aim to partner with Sands and launch a hospitality management program.

NY casino in Times Square also faces strong opposition

The Broadway League joined forces with theatre owners and producers to stop Caesars Palace Times Square from evolving. The “No Times Square Casino” Community Coalition is determined to stop the proposed casino at 1515 Broadway from being built.

Caesars Entertainment partnered withSL Green Realty. The companies are in the race to get one of three downtown casino licenses that the state could grant this year.

The Times Square casino opponents, however, worry the place would influence major traffic congestion, a destabilized New York City tax base and economic disruption. Apart from The Broadway League, the coalition got support from the local restaurants and resident associations. These include:

  • Sardi’s
  • Joe Allen
  • Orso
  • The American Bus Association
  • Student & Youth Travel Association
  • The Hell’s Kitchen Black Association
  • The West 47th-48th Streets Block Association

The site also got anti-casino commentaries from multiple media outlets. That includes the New York Post, New York Daily News and City & State New York.

Photo by AP Photo/Frank Eltman; Illustrated by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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