Posted on: December 2, 2022, 04:20h. 

Last updated on: December 2, 2022, 04:38h.

Las Vegas Sands is said to be considering multiple sites on Long Island as potential homes for a New York-area casino.

Sands Long Island
Las Vegas Sands Vice President David Paterson. He’s pushing the company to consider Long Island as a site for a New York casino. (Image: Spectrum News)

Former New York Gov. David Paterson (D), now a senior vice president at the gaming company, is pushing his employer to consider Long Island, citing congestion issues in Manhattan. Traffic concerns aren’t the only potential headwinds facing operators looking to bring a gaming venue to Manhattan.

Competition is fierce for a Manhattan casino license, with Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International, and Wynn Resorts among the companies interested in that borough. Bally’s may be as well. In addition to that crowded field, there’s opposition to some casino-hotel plans in Manhattan, and some experts believe the borough is simply a no-go for a new gaming venue.

We don’t know where the location is at this point,” Paterson told Newsday. “But I’m the one who suggested that they (Sands) look at Long Island because of all the congestion in Manhattan.”

New York is expected to award a third downstate casino license, while allowing MGM’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World in Queens to convert to traditional gaming venues from their current slots-only status. It’s expected that New York gaming regulators won’t award any new permits until late next year. But they’ll start fielding applications for those licenses in January.

Sands Could Be Shifting Away from Queens

Previously, Sands was rumored to be mulling an integrated resort at a notoriously tough-to-develop plot of land near Citi Field in Queens.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is pushing to bring a casino to the area, and is said to be working with Union Gaming, an investment bank that specializes in the casino industry, to select an operator partner. Previously, it was believed that Hard Rock and Sands were leading that competition.

Sands might have multiple reasons for turning its focus to Long Island from Queens. First, there’s budding opposition at the local level to a new casino. Second, Willets Point – the area in which Cohen would like to see the casino built — has proven notoriously tough to develop, with previous plans for the unused land ultimately failing.

Paterson acknowledges the Citi Field area and Coney Island in Brooklyn are contenders as casino sites. But he criticized the idea of a gaming property in Manhattan, noting it wouldn’t help companies get people back to work in offices and would do more harm than good in terms of easing traffic.

For Sands, a Long Island State of Mind

Paterson didn’t mention specific sites on Long Island that Sands is considering. But he told Newsday executives from the gaming company met with local chambers of commerce on Thursday.

Unidentified sources told the newspaper the Nassau Hub, including Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, is possibly under consideration by Sands, as is the UBS Arena/Belmont Park area in Elmont.

Because of its proximity to the Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, Long Island is seen as a viable contender to land a downstate casino. Currently, Sands operates six integrated resorts — one in Singapore and five in Macau.