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Though he’s pushing for Long Island off-track betting parlors to add video slot machines, Sen. Phil Boyle said a bill he recently introduced doesn’t propose a major casino.
"It would not be – in any stretch of the imagination – a major casino. Or a casino at all,” said Boyle (R-Bay Shore).
Instead, his legislation, co-sponsored by Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauaket) would merely allow off-track operations to host “video lottery terminals.” VLTs, as they called, are currently found in “racinos” – combination horse racing tracks and betting parlors, such as Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway.
“This is about helping Suffolk and Nassau OTBs because they have been struggling,” Boyle said, although the bill could apply to any off-track betting facility in New York.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has pushed to allow VLTs in Nassau for several years. But the state Legislature has never passed a bill to do so.
UPDATE: Nassau OTB Chairman Joe Cairo issued the following statement also saying that his interest in VLTs isn't tied to casinos.
Statement from Joseph G. Cairo, President and CEO of Nassau Off-Track Betting Corp.:
State authorization of the installation of video slot machines at Nassau Off Track Betting (OTB) locations is just one aspect of a multifaceted plan that will enable Nassau OTB to meet the changing customer tastes as it continues to compete with other venues that are permitted to offer the public a wider-range of gaming options. This matter is wholly unrelated to the issue of the future of casino gambling in New York State.