Letter: Video terminals raise revenues

Guests play slot machines at the Resorts World

Guests play slot machines at the Resorts World Casino-New York at the Aqueduct Race Track in Queens. (Credit: Jason Andrew, 2011)

Your editorial "Time to get the ball rolling" [June 2] called legislation to bring video lottery terminals to off-track betting locations a "desperate attempt to revive an obsolete brand" and a "bad gambling strategy."

On the contrary, major newspapers have reported the consistently strong demand for electronic table games and the record-high revenue that racinos like the one at Aqueduct Racetrack bring to our state because of video lottery terminals. In fact, electronic or virtual table games at Aqueduct are vastly outperforming even live table games at top casinos in Atlantic City, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

I would suggest that the Newsday editorial board read its own paper.

On March 25, op-ed contributor Rick Violette, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, accurately wrote, "What's not debatable is the positive impact of the revenue from video lottery terminals at Aqueduct, not only on the thoroughbred industry, but on the job market and the economy in every region of the state."

According to the state Gaming Commission, gamers statewide spent more than $28 billion at VLTs in the last fiscal year. With the passage of legislation that I support allowing VLTs at OTB parlors on Long Island, conservative estimates have tens of millions of dollars each year going to our struggling local governments.

This would be an unprecedented increase in county revenue -- without raising taxes.

Phil Boyle, Bay Shore

Editor's note: The writer is a member of the State Senate.

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