With just over six months to wait before New York hands out three lucrative casino licenses, the last thing any of the bidders needs is a lawsuit. Cue Hofstra University, firmly against the idea of a Las Vegas Sands casino near it, filing a legal challenge that according to a public docket on Thursday, will now go before a New York Superior Court Judge on May 24.
Hofstra University v. Nassau County Planning Commission (NCPC) centers on a problem the school has with a land-lease deal the latter’s planning board inked with Sands for a $4bn casino, entertainment, and hospitality project. The land currently houses the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The private university in Hempstead has long been against a casino near its campus. Its civil complaint holds that the NCPC broke New York’s Open Meeting Law when it gave the nod for a 99-year lease with Sands for the Uniondale land.
denied Hofstra University and the public an opportunity to debate serious issues”
In a complaint amended in May, the school claimed that the planning board “denied Hofstra University and the public an opportunity to debate serious issues having far-reaching negative consequences for our community.”
Announcing its New York casino bid back in January, Sands CEO and chairman Robert Goldstein said he and his firm “strongly believe” that Long Island can host “one of the region’s great entertainment and hospitality developments.”
Add the Hofstra lawsuit to creative casino bids from rivals such as Caesars Palace Times Square and Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sands’ belief in its New York project might, however, be weakening.