A Long Island group calling itself the “Say NO to the Casino Association” has found a new way of trying to push away Las Vegas Sands’ bid for a casino in Nassau County. Recently, the non-partisan group of locals found a potential tax break by the company which eyes to bring a multi-billion casino and entertainment resort at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
But in order for Las Vegas Sands to be able to build a casino in the region, it would need to acquire one of the three available downstate gaming licenses. At the start of the year, the Gaming Facility Location Board announced the start of Request for Applications, allowing third-party companies to submit their bids for review. Winning applications will be announced later in 2023.
- Potential Tax Break Detected
In a press release, the group claimed the casino operator was planning to vacuum up gambling losses in excess of US$2 billion a year. The organization said most of the money is expected to come from Nassau County residents. It noted seeking tax breaks to offset its meagre commitments and exploit residents’ gambling losses exposes its greedy push for the casino in the community.
Based on Newsday’s report, it is mentioned that the Las Vegas Sands might pursue a sales-tax exemption for construction materials and a decrease in the mortgage recording tax. As part of their agreement, the company plans to provide payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) to various entities, such as the county, school district, and Hempstead Town.
Previously, the gaming leader and Nassau County struck an agreement on a 99-year lease for the land around the Old Barn. The company will pay US$5 million per year for the land, and if it gets one of the licenses, the rent will double. With an up-and-running casino, the county would receive US$25 million for the first three years on top of the annual rent.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman vowed that the casino project would create thousands of jobs and economic prosperity in the area. However, groups like “Say NO to the Casino Civic Association” do not agree with a casino on Long Island. Meanwhile, Hofstra University which will be in close proximity to the property said county officials violated laws by negotiating with the company.
In addition to that, the organization also organized a rally to protest against the potential casino project. The rally was held at the end of May, just before the Nassau County Legislative had a vote on a proposal that would transfer the lease of the Nassau Hub and Coliseum to the gaming corporation. It was in an attempt to change the officials’ minds.
- Casino Bid Gets a Boost
However, the rally was of no use, as on Monday, May 22, 2023, local officials voted in favour 17-1 in favour of granting the lease to the gambling leader, potentially paving the way to launch a world-class casino resort. The legislature cited job creation and economic prosperity for Nassau County as reasons for greenlighting the move.
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