The Sands Corp., one of the world’s largest gambling firms, is looking to build a casino on Long Island. It was the suggestion of Sands’ senior vice president David A. Paterson, who was also a former New York governor.
As Paterson said in a Newsday interview on Thursday:
“We don’t know where the location is at this point. But I’m the one who suggested that they look at Long Island because of all the congestion in Manhattan.”
The Nassau Hub, including Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, is one of several sites that Sands is considering, according to sources who requested anonymity.
Paterson and other Sands executives spoke to members of local chambers of commerce on Thursday about the company’s plan to win one of three state licenses to operate a casino downstate.
The Sands Corp. hopes to secure the final New York casino license
The NY State Gaming Commission will issue its Request For Application (RFA) by Jan. 6, 2023. But, according to the officials, no licenses are expected to be issued to New York casinos before late 2023.
Paterson predicted that both Resorts World New York City and Empire City Casino owners would win licenses to convert to full-scale gaming. The Resorts World New York City is located at the Aqueduct raceway (Queens). And Empire City Casino is at Yonkers Raceway in Westchester County (Hudson Valley north of New York City).
So, Sands is hoping to secure the final license. At least that’s what he told nearly 100 attendees who gathered at the joint meeting of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers.
The event took place on Thursday at the South Farmingdale Fire Department building.
Long Island as an “attractive casino site”
According to Paterson, Long Island’s closeness to LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports makes it an attractive casino site. He is familiar with the area as he lives in Harlem. And he attended grade school and law school in Hempstead, Nassau County.
Paterson told Newsday while referring to high rollers:
“The most important thing about the location of a casino is proximity to the airports because a very high percentage of gamblers fly around the world and go to these casinos. So, Long Island, particularly right at the edge [with Queens], you can get to the airport in 15 minutes sometimes.”
Paterson was even more specific and said that Queens, especially the area nearby Citi Field and Coney Island in Brooklyn, have been targeted as possible casino sites by developers.
In particular, New York Mets owner and billionaire Steve Cohen is in discussions with the Sands Corp. about a possible casino next to Citi Field.
But Manhattan is a “poor choice,” concluded Paterson, toning down potential projects from Sands’ competitors.