Suffolk OTB workers accept pay lag

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Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corp. workers voted to take a lag payroll to keep the agency afloat while officials try to extricate themsleves from bankruptcy and build an electronic slot machine casino.

Philip Nolan, OTB president, said unionized workers voted by a 2-1 margin which will save the agency $300,000 by skipping one two-week pay period. The 200 workers and managers affected will get their delayed salary when they leave or retire from OTB at whatever rate of pay they are making at that time.

The move comes as OTB officials are next scheduled to go to bankruptcy court April 9 where the agency will seek approval of the new contract with gaming firm Delaware North, to construct the 1,000 slot machine casino. Meanwhile, the Republican co-led State Senate has included in its one house budget another 1,000 more machines each for Nassau and Suffolk.

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Joseph Cairo, Nassau OTB President, sees a better than 50-50 chance the extra machines will make the final budget. However, Vanessa Baird Streeter, a spokeswoman for County Executive Steve Bellone, said additional machines “may be a bit premature” until the already approved machines are in operation.

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