ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Protesters gathered Saturday to rally against a plan to build a new video gaming parlor at Belmont Park.
Chanting “We say no casino,” demonstrators went on a mile-long march through the snowbanks of Floral Park and Elmont in an effort to stop Nassau Off-Track Betting from setting up 1,000 video lottery terminals at Belmont Park.
It was the latest mobilization against the plan to open a video gaming parlor in the community straddling the city and Nassau County line, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.
Earlier this month, 2,000 protesters packed a rally with Floral Park Village Mayor Thomas Tweedy, who has been a driving force behind opposition to the Belmont plan.
“This is an unimaginative way of raising money. I really think this is short-sighted by our leaders,” said Tweedy.
Residents said they fear more gambling will mean increased crime, traffic and lower property values.
“We bought that house because it was our nest egg and I don’t want to lose value in that,” said Floral Park resident Janet Romano-Murray.
Maryanne Giraldo pushed her double stroller the length of the march to register her objection to the casino plan.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for the community or any surrounding areas,” she said.
At the gas station across the street from Belmont, there were mixed feelings.
“Gambling? I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Elmont resident Nicole Cameau.
“I think it’s pretty good. I play poker, so hopefully it will enhance the neighborhood and give people some place to go,” said Cambria Heights resident Jason Clark.
CBS2 called Nassau Off-Track Betting for comment, but haven’t heard back.