In a recent Las Vegas Sands Corps. earnings call, CEO Rob Goldstein called New York an “extraordinary and unique opportunity” for casino gaming. An “amazing opportunity,” as he put it, “because of a very simple dynamic of a huge market with limited capacity.
“There’s only a few casinos there,” Goldstein said. “It’s probably the only place in the US where you can have millions and millions of people, and yet there’ll be probably just a handful of casinos total.”
While most other entities interested in one of the three downstate NY casino licenses are focusing on the New York City area, Sands has targeted Long Island. The gaming company has entered into agreements to purchase the long-term lease of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale to turn the 80-acre property into a “multi-billion-dollar flagship hospitality, entertainment and casino project,” according to a press release.
Said Goldstein in the earnings call:
“So, I view New York very much very unique to the rest of the United States. It’s not — it’s a population in the many millions to just a couple of casinos, very different here in Las Vegas. We’ve got a huge local market but dozens and dozens and dozens of casinos. There you’ll be basically alone.”
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Coming as no surprise, many of the heaviest hitters in the legal gambling industry have leapt at the opportunity to open up shop in the Empire State. The booming population. The lack of immediate and ample competition, such as in Las Vegas.
In addition, as Goldstein put it, “win per units there (in New York) will be exceptional.” But Sands isn’t looking to just build a gambling facility. It essentially seeks to develop a world of its own.
“We’re not looking to build a casino, looking to build not a regional casino,” Goldstein said, “but rather a truly large hotel with spa convention space, dozens of restaurants, a new theater, a huge entertainment feature, a transformational product, which will positively impact the community and grow tourism a powerful statement. We’re not looking to be in this thing in a limited way.”
“We’ll be all the way in. And we think if we do it, it will be transformational for the county we’re working in, very good for the people in the county and something they can be very proud of. And it will drive tourism — outsized tourism into Nassau. Our bid is very much traditional on the thinking of LVS large-scale with numerous non-gaming assets, lots of meeting space, probably 400,000 square per foot new space.”
Sands ‘all the way in’ to develop Long Island casino
According to Goldstein, Sands looks to invest upward of $5 billion to develop the area. One that will certainly feature a casino. But the project is more than that. “This is a full-blown resort,” Goldstein said, noting the inclusion of convention space as well as entertainment, retail and restaurant facilities. “It’s the real thing.
“It’s not meant to be a small-time investment. We’re going all the way in and building something transformational that drives tourism. And we think will be the biggest, in terms of the casino business will be the biggest revenue generator.”
According to the press release announcing Sands’ Long Island intentions, the Long Island property will also feature outdoor community spaces; four- and five-star hotel rooms; a day spa, pool and health club; and a live performance venue, among other amenities. The casino itself will represent less than 10% of the property’s square footage.
“And so it’s going to be very — it’s an exceptional opportunity,” Goldstein said during the earnings call. “It won’t come along again. I think this is one and done. So we’re trying very hard.
“And we’ve been trying to do New York for a number of years, but it looks like this is finally someone’s opportunity. Hopefully, it’s ours.”