Hear From the Community DirectlyAn orange underline

Below are comments made by members of the public about the proposed casino plan. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Nassau County for Responsible Development.

“Casinos are known to bring gun crime, drugs, prostitution, and human trafficking. I feel betrayed. Bottom line – you can’t be tough on crime and be pro-casino.”

- Karen Riordan, Manhasset

“I have lived in Uniondale for 38 years. Three of my children have graduated from Uniondale High School. I have seen much growth in our community, most of it positive. The implications of having this erected – Increased crime, human trafficking, decreased home values, low paying jobs, increased traffic (which is already a nightmare) plus many other negative components."

- Rase Denny, Uniondale

“The people thought that a casino at the Hub was a dumb idea 13 years ago. Nassau County would need to hire more police to tackle the increase in robbery, aggravated assaults, auto theft, burglary, larceny, rape, prostitution, murder, and drugs. Parents have enough trouble struggling to raise their children with the increase in drug addiction and related crimes in our communities. Do we want to now add gambling addiction to their worries?”

- Claudia Borecky, Bellmore-Merrick Community Leader

“It is outrageous to push a casino while simultaneously ignoring the housing crisis. In Baldwin, downtown has withered for more than two decades. Gentrification should be about housing, jobs, and economic redevelopment that improves the lives of Nassau residents, NOT adding crime, prostitution, traffic, and the ills of gambling adjacent to colleges and universities. We can do so much better.”

- Paul Bua, Baldwin

“Nassau County has many needs, a Las Vegas-style casino is not one of them. We need housing and open community spaces. Instead, our county is eagerly embracing casino gambling and all the social ills that surround such places. Would Nassau residents really be proud to say, ‘What happens in Uniondale stays in Uniondale?’”

- George Krug, Garden City

“We don’t need more traffic, crime or attempts to make Nassau County the next borough.”

- Susan LaRocca, Garden City

“Too many treasured institutions in Nassau County will be adversely impacted by the presence of a casino – Hofstra University, Kellenberg Memorial High School, Mitchell Field athletic facilities, Sloan Kettering, Eisenhower Park, LI Children’s Museum, the Cradle of Aviation – to name a few. And the impact on traffic, water, and our environment is unequivocally negative.”

- Nancy Driscoll, Garden City

“A casino in Nassau is bad news for our community in every way - we need resilient economic development, sustainable jobs, and affordable housing, not increased crime and addiction. Evidence on this is very clear. We should and can do better.”

- Vasu Krishnamurthy, Manhasset

“Building a casino at the Nassau Coliseum site is not a good idea. Per a CNN report: ‘the impact of casinos on local property values is ‘unambiguously’ negative according to the National Association of Realtors. Casinos do not revive local economies. They act as parasites upon them.’ Also nowadays, people don’t need casinos to gamble, they can access it on their phone or computer. Lastly, right across the street is Hofstra University and Nassau Community College. Do you really want young students tempted to kill time at a casino in between classes?”

- Steve Layne, Merrick

“I am vehemently opposed to the Sands casino proposal. A casino would have an extremely negative effect on the quality of life in East Meadow, Uniondale, and surrounding towns. While the county may see financial returns, this will come with a price – crime, drug use, prostitution, and gambling addiction will increase. Two institutions of higher learning, Nassau Community College and Hofstra University will be within walking distance of the proposed casino. I would never send my child to any college that is located near any casino. In addition, a casino would exacerbate the traffic on already overburdened Hempstead Turnpike.”

- Lorraine Banks Attias, 39-year resident of East Meadow

“Building a casino in the middle of Nassau County, one of the most densely populated areas of the country, is a cynical, lazy ploy by our government to push a regressive tax on the most vulnerable among us so they can claim, through smoke and mirrors, a new, albeit short-lived, revenue stream, without acknowledging or quantifying the tremendous negative impacts, including increases in crime, exacerbation of traffic and environmental damage, decrease in property values, and inevitable increase in gambling addictions and other social ills..”

- Allison O’Brien Silva, Manhasset

“The proposed construction of a casino at the site of Nassau Veterans Coliseum in the predominantly Black and Brown community of Uniondale, would be a destructive decision that could negatively impact neighboring Hofstra University, Nassau Community College, and the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center."

- Pastor Arthur L. Mackey Jr., Senior Pastor at Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral, Roosevelt

“The lack of transparency surrounding this proposed casino project is extremely concerning. Residents have not been kept in the information loop regarding meetings; it’s appalling that residents were not informed of the Nassau County Planning Commission meeting held on March 2. What is there to hide? Information regarding this project should be shared in a transparent and timely manner.”

- Pearl Jacobs, Nostrand Gardens Civic Association, Uniondale

“We recently relocated to Garden City for the schools, parks, and overall charm of the town. It would have certainly given us pause when purchasing a home if there was a large casino close by. I grew up in a small town in Nevada, where gambling is literally everywhere. I’ve seen first-hand how gambling can destroy lives and families. All the dues from my sister’s Girl Scout troop were gambled away by the troop leader’s husband. In nursing school, the ER nurses called weekend night shifts the “gun and knife club,” from the non-stop availability of gambling and alcohol. However attractive Sands might make this deal seem, the house always wins.”

- Jacqueline Ghosh, Garden City (formerly of Reno, Nevada)

“The net advantage or disadvantage of the Sands proposal can never be known or quantified. This is because the advantages are all expressed in terms of money, namely construction jobs, post construction jobs, tax revenues, etc. But how can we measure the costs? What is the value of a young man lost to suicide? What is the measure of a young woman coerced into prostitution? How do we calculate what a child loses when her parents are killed by a drunk driver? No windfall of money is worth the price that we will pay in terms of human suffering. We already know what the right answer is.”

- Monica Kiely, Garden City

“I am very concerned for the well-being of our children, the health of the neighboring communities, and the social fabric that is sewn very tightly in many Nassau towns. While a casino brings revenue, it comes with innumerable risks to all that we hold near and dear to us as community members and parents. Once this genie is out of the bottle, there will be no turning back?"

- Anthony Ziniti, Garden City

“Long Island needs to preserve open spaces, address a housing shortage, and improve transportation options. A casino will not address any of those needs; it will instead degrade the surrounding communities. Hofstra University’s president wrote eloquently of the damage to student and community life. The neighboring towns of Garden City, East Meadow, Uniondale, and Roosevelt are appalled that a casino is being considered for our quiet area. Let construction and union workers be employed to build positive change and careful growth for our communities. At a casino, the house never loses – the people lose from gambling addiction and degraded neighborhoods.”

- Steven Rolston, Baldwin

“Ahh, the lure of free money! Isn’t that what people who frequent casinos think they are getting? Isn’t that what enticed Nassau County Executive Blakeman when he heard the Sands pitch? In both cases, there are significant costs and repercussions that exceed the promises of free money. When New York state was instituting OTBs in local neighborhoods, they promised free-flowing money that would go to education, and our school taxes would go down. Yeah right – local politicians got jobs, the operating costs skyrocketed, and very little money, if any, goes to education. A casino is not a quick fix with easy money; long-term, it’s a devastating move for the county and ALL its residents.”

- Patricia Chester, Garden City

“Where will the casino revenue come from? The majority of it will come from local residents, and the vast majority of the earnings will go to the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Gambling is an entertainment expense people are willing to spend money on, however, I feel the negatives outweigh any entertainment value. Illegal trades typically develop around casinos, and rates of drinking and driving increase. Communities with casinos spend more money on police and other services, and robberies, assaults, prostitution, and gambling addiction rates most certainly increase. A casino is a short-term fix to what needs a much better longer-term vision.”

- George Evans, Garden City

“We live in a high-density area, and the casino is proposed for a location that has approximately 40,000 students within walking distance. We don’t need our students in the midst of gambling, drinking, drug use (endemic in those situations), a dramatic increase in traffic (already way too much as it is), and the other social ills that come with casino “life”. The community in general will be badly affected by those social ills. Use the space for affordable housing and a green space, that’s what we need!”

- Ellen Smiley, Levittown

“I am a retired homeowner, living on a fixed income; I am a union member, and would love to see my union brothers and sisters working to build something more worthwhile at the HUB, like a medical research facility, to further create cures rather than a blighted complex that creates poverty, prostitution, alcoholism, crime, drugs, and gambling addiction! This casino is of no benefit to me or my community. The tax increases alone for additional police protection will be heavy, and property values will surely decrease immeasurably. The negative impact this facility carries with it far outweighs any positive lies that The Sands is trying to sell us on.”

- Deirdre Benoit, East Meadow