Village Officials Join Residents in Protest of Nassau Casino Proposal

Residents protest the proposed Sands casino in Nassau County on April 3, 2023.
Photo by Briana Bonfiglio

Village Officials Join Residents in Protest of Nassau Casino Proposal

About 50 Nassau County residents, along with elected officials of villages in the county, rallied in front of the Nassau legislative building on Monday against the proposed Las Vegas Sands casino project.

The casino would be built at the site of Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, and residents and community leaders from surrounding towns vehemently oppose the idea. The Say No to the Casino Civic Association organized the latest rally in Mineola and led call-and-response chants such as “Say no to the casino, say yes to our children” and “Say no to gambling addiction, say no to the casino.”

“We’re particularly concerned about the traffic on our already overburdened roadways,” said Village of Garden City Mayor-elect Mary Carter Flanagan. “We’re concerned about crime, we’re concerned about DWI fatalities, addiction issues – all of the things that come along with a casino.”

The Garden City Village Board of Trustees has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the casino, Flanagan announced. Village Trustee Bruce Chester also spoke out against the casino at the rally.

“It would be in an area where we have 40,000 students – Nassau Community, Hofstra University, Adelphi University, Uniondale High School, Bishop Kellenberg – we have a problem on this Island with young people and gambling addiction. This is not going to help this,” Chester said. “This is a quick, easy-money solution, but it will be a long-term detriment. There will be a number of diverse communities in the area affected by this all around.”

A representative for Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro read a statement from him opposing the casino. In addition, Mineola Village Trustee Donna Solosky pledged her support for the opposition of the project.

“Environmentally, socially, economically, I don’t see where this is going to benefit us,” she said. “Hopefully our voices will be heard.”

Residents protest the proposed Sands casino in Nassau County on April 3, 2023.Photo by Briana Bonfiglio

Earlier this year Las Vegas Sands announced the proposal to build a resort-like tourist destination that would include a casino. Say No to the Casino Civic Association formed a few weeks ago to raise awareness and speak out against it, and the group will hold another rally on April 24. It also has an online petition with nearly 2,000 signatures of people who do not want a casino in Nassau County.

Nassau County legislators have not indicated which way they’ll vote on the proposal yet. In his State of the County address on March 1, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said that in order to approve the Sands casino proposal, “it must be world-class, with a luxury hotel and entertainment component; it must bring significant revenue to the county and surrounding areas, including construction and permanent jobs; and third, it must have the support of the community.”