Las Vegas Sands is not messing around with its proposed New York casino on Long Island.
According to a zoning application filed in the Town of Hempstead, Sands intends to build over 3.7 million square feet of development above ground, another 3.9 million square feet for parking and garages and more than 765,000 square feet of underground space.
But the big number, according to the application: 396,726 – the proposed square footage for the actual Sands NY casino.
If approved by officials, the community and ultimately state regulators, that would make Sands New York the third-largest casino in the US and among the biggest in the world.
Of course, as it has since inception, the proposed project does not please everyone, with one group indicating that the zoning application proves the casino “is unequivocally wrong for our county.”
Sands looking to build third-biggest casino in US
Only WinStar World Casino & Resort in Oklahoma and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut would boast larger casinos than Sands New York. (Interestingly, both groups are also vying for one of the three downstate New York casino licenses – the Chickasaw Nation, the tribe that runs WinStar, with a Coney Island proposal and Mohegan Gaming with the Soloviev Group.)
The submitted application comes as a requirement for Las Vegas Sands in the process of seeking a NY casino license. According to the petition, Sands looks to turn the 72-acre site into the “Mitchel Field Integrated Resort District” around Nassau Coliseum.
Local officials need to sign off on the zoning application to allow for commercial gambling in the area before Sands can move forward in its quest for a downstate license.
While certainly a big draw for potential tourism, that expansive casino does not sit well with some locals. Especially after Sands indicated earlier this year that casino gambling would only account for about “10%” of the project.
But, according to the math, nearly 400,000 square feet of casino gaming would only be about 10%, considering Sands intends to develop over 3.7 million square feet (not including parking) above ground.
More details about Sands NY casino
According to the application, Sands, which reached a 99-year lease agreement with Nassau County, has other big plans for its proposed project at Nassau Hub.
- 1,670 rooms between two hotels
- 31,200 square feet of retail space
- 60,000 square feet of “public attraction space”
- 213,000 square feet of meeting space
- 147,929 square feet for restaurants and bars
- 4,500-seat live performance venue
The petition did not mention any specifics regarding the actual Nassau Coliseum, leaving it a mystery as to how Sands will treat the venue.
Sands announced its plans to bring in Canyon Ranch to create a “spa, fitness and food destination” at the resort.
Backlash continues to come at Las Vegas Sands
One of the most vocal opponents of the Sands NY casino project is the Say No to the Casino Civic Association. Previously, the group spoke out against Sands after reports emerged that the gambling company might seek a sales-tax exemption on construction material purchases and a reduction in the mortage recording tax.
This time, the Say No to the Casino Civic Association emphasized that the zoning petition from Sands “provides a clearer pricture of the mammoth scale of the project and validates the concerns of the Say No to the Casino Civic Association and the countless residents of Nassau County who adamantly oppose letting a casino move in and exploit our community for profit,” according to a statement.
The group highlighted Sands’ previous statements regarding the casino representing 10% of its overall project. Now, a Garden City resident said in the group’s statement, “its behemoth casino will be 393,726 (square feet) – the size of seven football fields.”
Added another Garden City resident:
“Make no mistake, LVS is hungry to take root in our community to drive as many people as they can to their gaming floor. … And the one they want to build in the Town of Hempstead will be colossal. I expect the elected officials in the Town of Hempstead will reject LVS’ request. Why would our elected officials let LVS move in and prey on their own constituents?”
The Say No to the Casino Civic Association release included other statements regarding concerns of increased traffic, crime and pollution. Said one Bellmore resident: “We want to make sure everyone in the Town of Hempstead understands what’s at stake. If LVS gets the opportunity to build, our communities will be shattered.”