Nassau Legis. Carrié Solages (D-Elmont) and more than a dozen civic activists and clergy members protested outside Belmont Park on Thursday, calling on the Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. to reveal the site of its proposed video gambling parlor.
A source told Newsday last week that county leaders were close to forming a “consensus” to house the VLTs at Belmont Park in Elmont. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has said announcement of a location would come this month, but OTB officials have declined to comment.
Solages, surrounded by protesters holding signs reading “Stop VLTs,” said gambling is a “quick fix” to raise money but would hurt the community around Belmont.
“We are gambling with our future,” said Solages, who represents the area around the park. “We can’t rely on gambling as a form of revenue.”
Solages urged residents to voice their opposition to the plan at the Dec. 21 meeting of the county legislature.
Tammie Williams, a delegate for the Elmont Community Coalition Council, which oversees local civic groups, suggested that race was playing a role in the decision.
“Why is it always in communities of color that you want to drop this nonsense?” she asked.
Last December, Nassau OTB announced plans to locate the VLT parlor at the vacant Fortunoff building in Westbury but backed down after heavy opposition from residents and lawmakers.
Mangano has included $20 million in revenue in his 2016 budget from the VLT parlor.