NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- Nassau County lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of approving the transfer of the Nassau Coliseum lease to Las Vegas Sands.
The vote passed, 17 to 1, on Monday.
"The overwhelming bipartisan approval of lease terms with the Sands by the County Legislature affirms that Nassau County has made the right decision," Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. "This is the first hurdle overcome to provide a world class entertainment center with a luxury spa and hotel, creating thousands of jobs and economic prosperity for Nassau County. I am very pleased with the vote."
Las Vegas Sands wants to turn the location into a $4 billion entertainment center and resort.
Last month, the county reached a lease agreement with Las Vegas Sands that gives them control over the Nassau Coliseum site.
The county would 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.
Blakeman had been joined by a number of leaders from organized labor groups as well as the NAACP who were 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.
Despite the vote, the state still needs to grant a license to Sands in order for the project to move forward.
ALSO READ | Report finds 50% of working-age New Yorkers don't earn enough to meet basic needs
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News