Symbolic move

NY casino race: Garden City votes to oppose Sands' complex project in Nassau County

Reading time 1:31 min

At a Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, the Village of Garden City voted to formally oppose the development of a casino at the Nassau County Hub in Long Island, New York, which had been proposed by gaming and hospitality giant Las Vegas Sands. As the village has no say in what happens at the Hub, the unanimous vote to oppose the plan is largely symbolic.

Community members hope their stance against the project sends a strong message to developers and officials that they don’t want a casino in their neighborhood. Pearl Jacobs, of the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association, said that money cannot be put “above young people's future” and that a casino would be “not good for Nassau County” and its community, reports News 12.

The proposal calls for an entertainment complex at the Nassau Coliseum site, including a casino, a hotel and an event space. Sands claims the project would bring jobs and tax revenue to the community, but those against the casino say the property could drive increases in traffic and crime, as well as negatively impact students at nearby colleges.

Sands addressed the issue via a statement: "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." While the project received a negative vote on Thursday, some at the meeting supported it, arguing a casino would bring needed jobs and money into Long Island.

Those at Tuesday's meeting hope to form a coalition of villages and elected officials against the casino project, reports News 12. However, it's not clear thus far if any other villages are opposed to the plan. In order to go forward with the project, Sands would have to secure one of three available licenses for downstate NY casinos, with a decision on the matter not expected until later this year.

In the plans it has shared, Sands said the casino aspect of the project would be about a tenth of the total square footage. Reaction to gaming in the area has been mixed, and while many community members have shown opposition, the Nassau Community College said it will work with Sands to create employee training programs if the plan is approved, and school leadership has been supportive.

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