Nassau County accuses Hofstra University of colluding with casino competitor

Chanteé Lans Image
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Nassau County accuses Hofstra of colluding with casino competitor
Chantee Lans with the latest.

UNIONDALE, Long Island (WABC) -- There's new controversy surrounding the future of a casino in Nassau County.

Standing inside the Nassau Legislative building on Wednesday, County Executive Bruce Blakeman announced a damning accusation against Hofstra University.

"We found that Hofstra University and one of the competitors to Las Vegas Sands were working in coordination and some might even say collusion," Blakeman said.

Blakeman showed an email sent from a consultant for the Hard Rock group.

The Hard Rock is a direct competitor of Sands for a bid for a New York state casino license.

Sands and Nassau County are fighting Hofstra to transform the Nassau Coliseum to create the Nassau County Hub.

The Hard Rock is copied on the email.

The consultant states, "I am checking with Hofstra to see if they will oppose this move."

"You have an applicant for a license that's not supposed to be colluding or coordinating with any other entity against anybody else's application," Blakeman said.

Hofstra is not on the email. Nor is there any evidence of their response to it, but the Nassau Legislature is now demanding answers from the school's president.

"I signed and had issued several subpoenas to Susan Poser for her testimony as well as production of documents," said Legislature Presiding Officer Howard Kopel.

Hofstra struck back, releasing a statement saying the subpoena is just another spurious attempt to distract and impede a fair and open process regarding the transfer of Nassau County land.

This comes after a judge blocked the $4 billion Sands Casino project after Hofstra sued Nassau County last April, accusing the county of violating the state's open meetings law.

Blakeman says the casino would bring in $100 million in revenue a year.

Hofstra and neighboring residents oppose the casino plan because of concerns of crime, traffic and gambling addictions.

Nassau officials say Sands promised to give a million dollars for added police patrols and programs for gambling.

Nassau residents who say no to the casino want the plan scrapped for good.

Hofstra's president has until Monday to hand over the subpoena documents to the Nassau Legislature.

Meanwhile, the town of Hempstead will hold its first public hearing on the casino plan right next door at the Marriott Hotel on Thursday.


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