Nassau County leaders are close to forming a “consensus” to house video slot machines at Belmont Park, after running into vehement local opposition at another proposed location, according to an official familiar with the talks.
“It looks like there’s a consensus to put them at Belmont” racetrack, said the source, who requested anonymity because plans haven’t been finalized. “It would go in the grandstand . . . If you’re going to put it in Nassau County, where else are you going put it?”
A spokesman for Nassau County Off-Track Betting Corp. declined to comment.
Nassau OTB has sought a site unsuccessfully for “video lottery terminals” ever since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature approved a law to allow Nassau and Suffolk counties to host up to 1,000 machines.
In 2014, Nassau OTB selected the vacant Fortunoff building in Westbury, but ran into a buzz saw of opposition from not only residents but also local and state officials. It’s been hunting for a site since.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has said he and OTB officials planned to select a temporary site in December.
Meanwhile, the county has been missing out on tens of millions of dollars in potential revenue, the source noted. Officials figure that Belmont, unlike the Fortunoff site, would be a better fit because it already hosts gambling, the source added.
State officials recently changed the scope of a long-delayed plan to redevelop the area around the racetrack. Newsday reported that the Cuomo administration sent a letter to bidders 11 days ago telling them that one Belmont parcel on the north side was no longer on the table because racing officials had plans for it.
The state began soliciting bids for Belmont development in September 2012 and, in 2013, had promised a decision within weeks.
Among the Belmont ideas, the New York Cosmos have proposed a soccer stadium and hotel. Team officials told Newsday that change in the Belmont development scope wouldn’t scuttle their plans but merely require adjustments.
Aqueduct Racetrack, which, like Belmont, is run by the New York Racing Association, already features video slots.