In May of this year, Nassau County legislators voted in favor of a 99-year lease for the Coliseum to Las Vegas Sands (LVS), a leading gaming and entertainment company. This lease marked the start of LVS’s plan for a billion-dollar project, as they joined the race for one of three downstate casino licenses. However, a new report from Newsday suggests that LVS’s ambitious project may be further delayed due to a legal battle.

The legal battle stems from a lawsuit filed by Hofstra University, located next to the site planned for the massive casino project. The institution argued that proper environmental reviews were not conducted prior to the approval of the lease, and that county officials did not engage in sufficient public discussions regarding the project. As a result, the legal challenge prompted LVS to act quickly, and the casino project was temporarily given a green light following an Appellate Court decision that issued a stay on a ruling that had annulled the approval of the project given by Nassau County.

The legal hurdle has led to further complications, with a hearing on the topic scheduled for Tuesday, November 21, 2023. Adam Schuman, Hofstra’s attorney, spoke against the hold of the Appellate Court, suggesting that the county could simply return to the planning phase, conducting an environmental review and public meetings for the project, instead of engaging in appeals.

The decision of the State Supreme Court that was put on temporary hold ruled that Nassau County did not follow the Open Meetings Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act, effectively annulling the lease agreement between LVS and the county. Still, the outcome of the upcoming hearing remains uncertain, and if the legal saga continues, LVS’s project may face further delays.

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