There is a new candidate in the field for a downstate casino in New York.
Las Vegas Sands announced its intention to pursue the development of a multi-billion-dollar flagship hospitality, entertainment and casino project on Long Island and has entered into agreements to purchase the long-term lease of the site. The land is currently home to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, former long-time home of the NHL’s New York Islanders.
New York sports betting – let’s make that New York, in general – is in for a wild ride.
The Path to Downstate Casinos
The New York Gaming Facility Location Board (NYGFLB) approved and voted unanimously eight days ago to issue a Request for Applications (RFA) to solicit proposals for up to three commercial casinos in downstate New York.
Pending approval, these transactions would grant the Sands company control of up to 80 acres in Nassau County, which will provide thousands of union jobs in both construction and operations.
“Our company’s track record of driving significant economic benefits to the communities in which we operate and the meaningful relationships and partnerships we have created in each of those communities gives us a unique perspective on what it takes to develop transformative tourism destinations that positively impact the local community,” said Robert G. Goldstein, chairman and chief executive officer for Sands, in a news release.
“Based on that experience, we strongly believe Long Island can be home to one of the region's great entertainment and hospitality developments.
“Our announcement is only the first part of this journey. Our ability to put forward a compelling and competitive proposal will only succeed if we engage with the Long Island community and, in collaboration, develop a proposal that reflects the input of all those involved.”
The due date for the first round of questions for applicants to submit to the NYGFLB is Friday, Feb. 3.
Real money online casinos are not legal in New York, although there are proponents to push legislation to get that started.
Several neighboring states do have mobile casinos, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The Sands Project Details
The proposed resort complex would include: outdoor community spaces, 4 and 5-star hotel rooms and a concert venue honoring the long legacy of live music at the Nassau Coliseum.
It also would feature celebrity chef restaurants, meeting and convention space, a day spa with swimming pool and health club, plus a casino, which is planned to represent less than 10% of the project’s total square footage.
“We want a casino downstate, no matter where it is . . . we want it downstate,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams during Audacy’s 1010 WINS podcast on Wednesday. “But we want to make sure we also have the right safeguards in place.”
In 2013, the state’s Constitution was amended to authorize up to seven commercial casinos in the state. New York then placed four destination resort casinos upstate.
New York now has 11 casinos upstate, seven run by Native American tribes and four commercial sites. Those commercial casinos are: Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, Rivers Casino in Schenectady and Tioga Downs in Nichols.
Resorts World Hudson Valley (RWHV) became the state’s newest casino on Dec. 28 in Newburgh, just a mere 60 miles from Manhattan.
Last year, the state’s enacted budget contained a new siting process and criteria for the remaining three licenses.
You can follow the progress of the state’s choices for downstate casinos and much more on sports betting at EmpireStakes.com, home of the NY sportsbook promos.