Updated: Aug 27
July 6, 2023 Garden City News
At the July 2nd Village Meet & Greet, two residents from Say No to the Casino (Monica Kiely & Rich Catalano) gave a brief overview of where we are in the Sands casino licensing process. The following is a recap of their presentation:
The Nassau County legislature voted on May 22 to approve the transfer of a long-term lease for the Nassau Hub property to the Las Vegas Sands Corp. The Sands can now move forward with the lengthy process of applying for a New York State Gaming License. After the Sands submits their initial application for the license, two local requirements must be met:
The Sands must demonstrate public support for a casino by obtaining the approval of a local Community Advisory Committee (the CAC). There will be five members of the CAC, and they will be appointed (1 apiece) by the following elected officials: Governor Kathy Hochul, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, NY State Senator Kevin Thomas, NY State Assembly Member Ed Ra, and Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin. The five CAC members have not yet been appointed. According to the NY Gaming Facility Location Board (GFLB), each CAC will elect a Chairperson, solicit and review public comments, and hold public meetings. The CAC must hold a vote-with a two-thirds threshold-to establish public support approving or disapproving the application. The GFLB can consider only applications that are approved by a two-thirds threshold by the local CAC. The Say No group is awaiting confirmation from the GFLB that the 2/3 minimum threshold for a 5-person committee means that 4 of the 5 committee members must be in agreement in order to make a recommendation.
The Sands project must receive zoning approval from the Town of Hempstead. Before the Town of Hempstead Council can vote to rezone the Nassau Hub property to permit a casino and related resort facility, an Environmental Impact Statement or EIS is required to be prepared in accordance with the New York State Environment Quality Review Act or SEQRA. The Town of Hempstead has retained Nelson Pope Voorhis as their environmental consultant.
At this time, there is no scheduled timetable for these events. The Say No to the Casino group urged their fellow residents to stay engaged, keep informed, and help to spread the word that we are still in the very early stages of this process. Three downstate gaming licenses will be awarded, and the conventional wisdom is that one will go to Aqueduct/Resorts World and one will go to Yonkers/Empire City. There are at least five other locations vying for the same gaming license that Las Vegas Sands would like to secure, therefore the proposal to build a casino at the Nassau Hub location is far from being a certainty.