Lakeville Estates discusses Sands proposal at meeting

Lakeville Estates discusses Sands proposal at meeting
Lakeville Estates Civic Association President Bill Cutrone speaks ahead of the Wednesday, April 19 meeting. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Taylor)

By Jessica Taylor

Lakeville Estates Civic Association members discussed concerns about the Las Vegas Sands’ casino and entertainment proposal with a representative April 19.

Sands proposed a plan to construct a privately funded, multibillion-dollar entertainment destination at the site of the Nassau Coliseum earlier this year.

Officials from the casino and resort company said they entered into agreements to purchase the long-term lease of the area home to the Coliseum and, if approved, would be in control of up to 80 acres of property in Nassau.

Bill Cutrone, civic association president, started off the meeting held at the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Fire Department Co. 5 firehouse, by acknowledging the concerns of the community. Lakeville Estates conducted a poll among members on whether or not they favor a Nassau County casino, with “no” comprising 89% of the total answers.

Cutrone asked the community to “keep an open mind and hear what the casino rep has to say before you make your final judgment” before allowing Mike Rendino, a Sands representative and Nassau County resident, to speak about the proposal.

Rendino began by saying that he’s “one of us” and understands the concerns but felt better after speaking with Ron Reese, Sands vice president, and clarifying that the proposal would be for an extremely high-end resort.

The $4 billion proposal includes a gambling casino, pending approval from the state, four and five-star hotel rooms, outdoor community areas and a “world-class live performance venue” that appropriately reflects the Coliseum’s history.

Reese told Blank Slate Media in January the hotel would be at least 800 rooms, the live performance venue would have a 5,000-7,500 seat capacity and there would be roughly 400,000 square feet of “corporate meeting facilities” to go along with other amenities.

Rendino said the proposal would be “cash positive” and would have no cost for Nassau County residents, creating thousands of jobs for Long Islanders and will give local businesses new opportunities, Rendino said.

Concerns about safety and congestiwouldwill also provide funding to support gambling addiction programs.

On security, Rendino said there are plans for a Nassau County Police Department substation to maximize safety, among other things.

Rendino concluded the Q&A by sayig that some of the questions would remain unanswered until the lease is given to the Sands, at which point they could move forward by having more detailed information.

Cutrone thanked the members for their questions and Rendino for his time. He said after the discussion, he is going to resend the poll now that the community has heard some of the benefits the Sands could bring to Nassau County. “To Sand or not to Sand” is the question.

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  1. 89% against is a reassuring number. The research continues to emerge showing that casinos consistently underperform; revenue projections might be met in year one and two. And then reality sets in. People move to the next shiny object and the casino area looks like Atlantic City.
    Casinos remove revenue from thriving towns. The gambling losses are much better spent on our local restaurants, museums, parks, and on taking care of our families. The stunning rise of gambling addiction brings broken families and foreclosures. The National Association of Realtors note a decline in property values for miles around a casino. The Illinois Law Review notes if you want to improve local economies, ban lotteries, sports betting, and casinos. Hofstra University, a Long Island jewel, will lose prospective enrollment when parents see the new Sands Casino towers, 26 stories high, attached to the new casino right across the road from campus.
    Casinos were illegal in New York until 2013 when Andrew Cuomo foolishly decided this would be his revenue producer. Now Governor Hochul sees the three new gaming licenses she plans to award as a way to fund the MTA.
    Sands and the others will fail to meet projections and we, on Long Island, will be stuck with this awful place in the Hub where the less fortunate will gamble their families’ rent and food money away.
    No other commercial business has an adversarial relationship with customers except for casinos. The house always wins, so guess who loses. Every one of us.
    Leave casinos to Las Vegas and Atlantic City and enjoy the trip. Leave peaceful Nassau County alone. Keep developing medical facilities, parks, museums, and restaurants. And preserve open spaces like beautiful Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Plains, the Museum Mile, and the campus at Hofstra University. Say NO To The Casino.
    Visit for more information. Or visit


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