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Nassau, Suffolk moving ahead on VLT parlors

Nassau Democratic lawmakers demanded that the county Regional

Nassau Democratic lawmakers demanded that the county Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. release details on the proposed gambling hall before the election, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

The 2013 legislation authorizing the three upstate casinos chosen Wednesday also allows Nassau and Suffolk counties to build gambling parlors with up to 1,000 video slot machines and table games.

Each county has been moving ahead with its projects.

In October, Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corp. closed on a $10.95 million deal to buy a 31-acre former Medford movie multiplex. The move came after the board of directors of Suffolk OTB voted to borrow as much as $90 million for construction of the VLT parlor and immediately pay off its creditors.

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Suffolk is expected to break ground on the facility in early 2015, and to open during the year. It will be run by Delaware North, a Buffalo-based gaming and hospitality company.

Suffolk OTB president Phil Nolan declined to estimate revenues, noting that the agency, coming out of bankruptcy, must pay creditors $17 million over the next three years.

Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting is finalizing a contract to purchase an unidentified property for its gaming parlor, OTB president Joseph Cairo said. The parlor would open next year.

Cairo has declined to identify the proposed casino site, citing a confidentiality agreement with the property owner, but said an announcement is expected before year's end. Nassau OTB has authorized $100 million in tax-exempt bonds to buy and develop the proposed site, although officials said the project could cost significantly less. Cairo projects the site will generate nearly $20 million in annual revenue for OTB and the county.

The gaming facilities in Nassau and Suffolk would include slot machines and electronic table games such as roulette, baccarat and blackjack.

With Rick Brand

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