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Hofstra College lawsuit threatens Sands’ New York casino bid

Publish Date: 05/21/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The drama in the race for a New York casino license has reached a new chapter with Hofstra University, a staunch opponent, filing a lawsuit against casino and resort company Las Vegas Sands. Despite many bidders’ efforts to avoid lawsuits, this legal action has intensified the competition for the license.

According to a public agenda on Thursday, the New York Superior Court will review and decide on the lawsuit on May 24. This lawsuit has significant implications for the proposed casino project and its license chances.

Awaiting court decision

Hofstra College, located near the proposed site of the Las Vegas Sands casino, has been strongly opposed to having a casino close to its campus. The lawsuit, titled Hofstra College v. The Nassau County Planning Fee (NCPC), alleges that the NCPC violated the New York Open Assembly Rules by entering into a 99-year lease agreement with Sands for the Uniondale land. The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a multipurpose indoor arena, currently occupies the land.

The lawsuit claims that the planning board’s decision to approve the lease agreement with Sands prevented Hofstra College and the general public from engaging in a meaningful debate about the potential negative consequences of the project. The university argues that this denial of the opportunity to discuss such matters is a violation of the rules governing public participation.

The lawsuit is scheduled to go before a New York Superior Court next Wednesday, where a decision will be made regarding the validity of Hofstra’s claims. If the court rules in favor of Hofstra, it could impact the future of the proposed $4 billion casino, recreation, and hospitality project.

Las Vegas Sands has been actively pursuing a New York casino license and has expressed its interest in developing a premier entertainment and hospitality destination on Long Island. However, the lawsuit from Hofstra University and competing casino proposals from other companies like Caesars Palace Times Square and Saks Fifth Avenue may weaken Sands’ position in the race for the license.

The outcome of the lawsuit and the subsequent decisions regarding the New York casino licenses will greatly influence the future of the casino industry in the state. It could have significant economic and legal implications for all parties involved.

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