The Say No to the Casino Civic Association held a meeting this Monday in an effort to convince Nassau County officials to scrap plans for a multi-billion-dollar casino and entertainment venue on Long Island.
Casino opponents claim that such a gambling establishment would only increase crime rates, traffic, and the number of people affected by gambling problems. However, many people supported the casino proposal, explaining that the Sands Casino would attract more potential customers to the county and create more jobs.
Casino Proponents Focus on the Economic Benefits
The casino proposal came from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which has signed a deal to purchase the lease for the Nassau Coliseum and its surrounding area and establish a multi-billion-dollar casino if approved. The property would include a casino area, outdoor community space, four- and five-star hotel rooms, a performance venue, and convention spaces. But opinions on the casino proposal are polarized.
Many residents of Long Island as well as business owners support the casino proposal. According to Frank Borrelli of Borrelli’s Restaurant, a casino would bring more customers to his eatery in East Meadow. He added that the gambling establishment would support the small business in the area.
Elizabeth Wellington of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce said that many young people are leaving the area due to the lack of job opportunities and the casino would solve this problem.
Why Some People Oppose the Casino Project?
Corinne Zarou and Annette Cella live close to the Coliseum. The two women expressed their concerns that a gambling establishment would increase traffic and noise. Ms. Cella also pointed out that a casino in the county would be a catalyst for increased drunk driving on Hempstead Turnpike and Meadowbrook.
In February this year, the Garden City Village Board announced that it is against the casino project. The developers explained that the casino would not only create more jobs but also boost the local economy by attracting fresh money flow.
Pearl Jacobs of the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association said that money is not more important than young people’s future. Pastor Arthur Mackey of Mount Sinai Baptist Church did not support the casino project, too. He said that the gambling venue would have a negative effect on the Black and brown community.
Hofstra University is located just across the street from the Nassau Hub. Dr. Susan Poser, the current President of the University, explained that the gambling establishment could encourage many students to gamble. She also pointed out that many college students are already facing gambling problems. Earlier this year, a petition against the proposed casino at the Nassau Coliseum site was signed by over 1,500 residents.
News 12 reported that Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman will approve the casino project only if the locals support the idea. At the end of the month, the county Legislature is to vote on the casino project.