NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- Nassau County reached a lease agreement with Las Vegas Sands that gives them control over the Nassau Coliseum site.
The county will get a lump sum payment, as well as annual revenues to the county and the Town of Hempstead and surrounding communities exceeding $100 million per year.
"And we believe that will bring jobs, economic prosperity, tax relief, and improved safety here in Nassau County," Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said at a briefing Wednesday.
Blakeman was joined by a number of leaders from organized labor groups as well as the NAACP who are all in favor of the agreement.
Nassau Community College supports the project and already has a partnership in place with the casino-resort company.
But the deal has its critics. Hofstra University and residents who have formed a group named "Say No to the Casino" are against the casino plans, saying it will only bring in more crime and traffic.
Sands wants to build a $4 billion "integrated resort" on the 72-acre site, commonly known as the Nassau Hub, that would include a casino, hotel rooms, ballrooms and conference spaces, live entertainment venue, restaurants, health club and spa.
The company intends to apply for a New York commercial gaming license at a $500 million cost, and must have control of the site to apply.
About a dozen entities are vying for three available licenses in the downstate region, which includes New York City, Long Island and Westchester.
Las Vegas Sands C.E.O. Rob Goldstein said the company isn't yet sure what it will do with the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
"It may remain as it is, it may not. We're going to build an alternative venue no matter what to complement that, but I don't know at this point," Goldstein said.