By no means has Las Vegas Sands lost any confidence in its bid for one of three downstate casino licenses in New York.
During the company’s recent third-quarter earnings call, Rob Goldstein, chairman and CEO of Sands, called the Long Island project “an extraordinary opportunity” for Sands to expand its empire to the Empire State – even more so if lawmakers legalize online casinos in NY, potentially giving a downstate casino operator the inside track for licensing.
“Our bid is compelling,” Goldstein said, adding that “(if) we are awarded the license, we will be in the ground as quickly as possible.”
Sands targeting $5 billion NY casino at Nassau Hub
During the call, Goldstein noted that Sands has “secured” Nassau Coliseum and are in “the process of gaining necessary selling requirements to move forward.”
Indeed, the company entered into a 99-year deal with Nassau County earlier this year.
This affords Sands the opportunity, if licensed, to develop a proposed 396,726-square-foot casino resort – making it the third-largest casino in the US and among the biggest in the world.
After selling its Las Vegas properties The Venetian, Palazzo and Venetian Expo last year for $6.2 billion, Sands currently only boasts resorts in Macau and Singapore.
When asked if Sands could afford to continue funding expansion projects at those properties (totaling more than $3 billion) while also heavily investing in a New York casino, Patrick Dumont highlighted the $5.6 billion in cash that Sands is sitting on. Not to mention the profits generated in Macau and Singapore.
“We’re going to pursue other growth opportunities in new jurisdictions,” the Sands president and COO said, “and we’ll be able to do it all because of the timing of the cash flow, the cash we have on hand and the cash tentative nature of our assets.”
CEO claims Sands NY casino has ‘strong local support’
While expressing optimism and excitement surrounding a Sands NY casino, Goldstein indicated that the company has gained the backing of local residents here.
“We’re also receiving strong local support from the local community,” Goldstein said. “The resort will cost in excess of $5 billion, but enables us to develop a five-star resort with unlimited appeal. This is simply an extraordinary opportunity. We are very excited about the prospect.”
Of course, not everyone is on board with a casino in the Nassau Hub.
The Say No to the Casino Association has remained a staunch and vocal opponent of Sands developing a casino resort. So, too, has Hofstra University, which filed a lawsuit in April challenging the legality of the coliseum lease deal.
Those interested in applying for one of the three available downsate NY casino licenses submitted their second round of questions to the state earlier this month. Once responses come out, those groups will have 30 days to officially submit their applications for licensing.