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Floral Park Village Board opposes video lottery terminals

An American flag covers one side of Village

An American flag covers one side of Village Hall in Floral Park. (Oct. 7, 2011) Credit: Amra Radoncic

The Floral Park Village board of trustees adopted a resolution Tuesday opposing the placement of a video lottery terminal parlor at Belmont Park, arguing that it would have “harmful long-term effects” on the area’s quality of life.

While Nassau Regional Off-Tracking Betting has yet to select a home for the video gaming parlor, sources have said county leaders are close to forming a “consensus” to house the VLTs at Belmont Park in Elmont.

Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy said the VLTs would be located near two public schools, cause a major increase in traffic, strain public services, and do little to improve the local economy.

“We don’t want it here,” said Tweedy. “Nobody wants it.”

The board has hired Beveridge & Diamond, a Manhattan law firm, to advise them on fighting a Belmont VLT parlor, including a potential lawsuit.

The villages of South Floral Park, Bellerose and Stewart Manor, the Floral Park-Bellerose School Board, Legis. Carrié Solages and his sister, Assemb. Michaelle Solages, both Democrats from Elmont, are all opposing video gaming at Belmont.

OTB, which declined to comment, faced similar local opposition last year when they proposed installing 1,000 VLTs at the vacant Fortunoff’s property in Westbury. The agency backed down after furious criticism from elected officials and civic leaders.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has said OTB would announce a location for the parlor later this month. Mangano is counting on $20 million in annual revenue from video gambling to help balance the county’s budget.

Floral Park has opposed earlier efforts to put video gambling at Belmont, including a 2011 plan by the Shinnecock Indian Nation.

Floral Park was also the only village on the Long Island to vote in opposition to a 2013 amendment to the State Constitution which allowed the construction of four upstate casinos and video gaming parlors in Nassau and Suffolk.

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