Drama heats up in the race to obtain a casino license in New York after it emerges that a lawsuit filed by Hofstra University over the land deal offered by Las Vegas Sands for its proposed casino will go to court. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
With just over six months to wait before New York will award three lucrative casino licenses, the last thing any bidders need is to file a lawsuit. Cue Hofstra, vehemently opposed to the idea of a Las Vegas Sands casino near it, filed a public-scheduled legal challenge Thursday and will now appear before a New York Supreme Court judge on May 24.
The case Hofstra University v. Nassau County Planning Commission (NCPC) focuses on a problem the school is having with a land lease the planning board recently signed with Sands for a $4 billion casino, entertainment and hospitality project. The grounds currently house the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The private university in Hempstead has long been against a casino near its campus. Its civil complaint says the NCPC violated New York’s open meeting law when it gave its consent to a 99-year lease with Sands for Uniondale land.
Hofstra University and the public were denied the opportunity to discuss serious issues.
In an amended complaint in May, the school alleged that the planning board had “denied Hofstra University and the public the opportunity to discuss serious issues with far-reaching negative consequences for our community.”
Announcing the New York casino bid back in January, Sands CEO and Chairman Robert Goldstein said that he and his company “strongly believe” that Long Island can host “one of the largest entertainment and hospitality projects in the region.”
Add Hofstra’s suit to creative casino offerings from rivals like Caesars Palace Times Square and Saks Fifth Avenue, and yet Sands’ faith in her New York venture may be waning.