ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Nassau Off-Track Betting Corporation now wants to place a mini casino at the Belmont Park race track.

In January, residents in Westbury successfully went to court to block Nassau OTB’s plan to place a 1,000 video lottery terminal at the former location of the Fortunoff Mall.

Now, OTB officials say the Belmont racetrack in Elmont is their next best bet, WLNY TV 10/55’s Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported.

“Belmont Park is the best possible site for the video lottery terminal to ensure local communities receive increased benefits,” the Nassau County OTB said in a statement.

Nassau OTB says the gaming parlor could mean $100 million a year in revenue, with $20 million going to Nassau County.

But there is already local opposition from Nassau County legislator Carrie Solages, who said he will lead a campaign to stop OTB from bringing gambling to the Elmont community.

“No community wants this in their backyard, even if there was a guarantee of revenue, which there isn’t,” Solages said, us planning to fulfill our county budget by having a casino is like us planning our budget on the expectation of winning the lottery,” Solages said.

Solages said that since the OTB chose the state-owned Belmont race track as a potential site, it will now need to have state approval to have a casino there.

“During rush hour on the regular, Hempstead Turnpike traffic’s really hefty,” Aaron Buisserthe, of Elmont, said. “So adding a casino here I’m pretty sure would add more traffic.”

But other residents see opportunity for the economically depressed community.

“It’s going to bring revenue in, for people to have jobs, to make more money and you know, spruce up the place around here,” Wilson Barnes, of Elmont, said.

“I guess it would be nice being some sort of industry, hopefully a little bit of economic boom employing people in the community,” Nicolette Fiason, of Elmont, said.

State law authorizing the video slot games was passed by public referendum in 2013. Nassau OTB said it will first put up a temporary parlor at Belmont, with the possibility of a permanent one if it’s approved by state legislature.


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