WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds gathered in Nassau County on Thursday night, to speak out against a proposed gaming parlor.

The message to casino developers could not have been clearer: “Stay away from Westbury.”

“It doesn’t belong in this community,” one opponent said.

“I’m angry. This is not something I expected when I moved there,” another said.

A standing room only crowd packed into the Saint Brigid School in Westbury on Thursday night to fight plans to turn a vacant Fortunoff building into a video gaming parlor with 1,000 slot machines.

The site selected for Nassau’s first video gaming parlor sits in the middle of its busiest corridor, Old Country Road near Roosevelt Field and down the block from Westbury homes and townhouses.

“The public has been cut out totally,” said Henry Cernitz of the Meadowbrook Point Civic Association.

Communities have organized a game plan, launching petitions and using social media, to fight what they call a backroom deal. Lottery terminals in the former Fortunoff store won approval last month.

As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, the public had no say.

The New York State Legislature gave the Nassau Regional Off Track Betting full authority to approve a site.

“It was done behind our back. We didn’t know about it until three weeks ago,” resident Reba Baldinger said.

Opponents fear added traffic, drunk driving, crime, and falling property values.

“We’re trying to come to a place where OTB realizes this is not the right location and there are other places more suitable,” Village of Westbury Mayor Pete Cavallaro said.

Joining the opposition but admitting they also have no say are Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Nassau County OTB officials were defending the plan.

State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) suggested the Nassau Coliseum, which will soon be vacated by the Islanders, as an alternate site.

But the Coliseum’s developer told CBS2 it is not going to pursue gambling and OTB said it could only pick among the sites offered.

“What we are not building is a casino,” said Rich Baldwin, Gaming Consultant to Nassau OTB. “The idea is to have nice restaurants, a food court, maybe a sports bar. A place people can enjoy, and have a good time, and be entertained, and may not even gamble.”

Limited by current law there will be no live table games. Predicted revenue is $20 million for Nassau County and $80 million for the state.

Advocates have predicted that crime will also go down.

“It’s going to enhance the safety of the area because it’s going to be so heavily detailed from a security standpoint,” Baldwin said.

Cut out of the process, residents and local leaders say they will seek legal action.

“It’s absurd,” Cavallaro said. “There is no elected official who has spoken out about this who has said it’s a good idea.”

OTB said it has not yet signed a deal for the site, but still considers it the preferred location.

Opponents are planning another bigger rally on Saturday.

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