Nassau Legis. Carrie Solages (D-Elmont) speaks during a rally Saturday...

Nassau Legis. Carrie Solages (D-Elmont) speaks during a rally Saturday morning, March 26, 2016, outside Belmont Park to urge state legislators to vote for a bill that would ban video slot machines on Long Island. Credit: Steve Pfost

More than 75 people rallied Saturday outside Belmont Park, urging state legislators to support a bill banning video slot machines on Long Island.

“No casi-no!” protesters chanted as they hoisted signs with slogans such as “If you put a casino in, we will vote you out!”

Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. wants to build a 100,000-square-foot, $75 million gambling hall in Belmont’s western grandstand to house up to 1,000 video lottery terminals.

“The community wasn’t at the table when Nassau OTB made the proposal,” said Tammie Williams, 34, an organizer of the rally who lives three blocks from Belmont Park, in Elmont. “No one’s listening to the voices of people who live near the racetrack.”

Brenda McDonald, 61, of Elmont, said a casino would clog already busy neighborhood streets with more traffic and expose neighborhood kids to gambling.

“This is not something you want children to aspire to,” she said.

Supporters of the casino argue it would generate tax revenue for the county and jobs for area residents. An OTB spokesman declined to comment on the demonstration, the third in the past 2½ months against the proposal.

Speakers at Saturday’s protest exhorted residents to pressure legislators to back the bill to rescind a 2013 authorization for up to 1,000 video lottery terminals each in Nassau and Suffolk counties. A plan to build a gambling parlor in Medford also faces strong opposition.

Nassau OTB unveiled its Belmont Park proposal after abandoning a plan to build a casino in Westbury, and “if they don’t succeed here, they’ll go elsewhere,” said a protest organizer, Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, 47, of Floral Park. “We have to eliminate the threat anywhere on Long Island.”

An Assembly version of the bill passed one committee and is now before another. Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone) on March 17 introduced a Senate version.

Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), who is running in the April 19 special election to replace Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), called the casino plan “wrongheaded, careless, dangerous.”

“We are not Nassau County’s dumping ground,” Kaminsky told the cheering crowd.

Kaminsky’s GOP opponent, attorney Christopher McGrath, said in a statement that Kaminsky’s participation in the rally illustrates that he “chooses political posturing over working to achieve a bipartisan solution” on the proposal.

McGrath has not taken a stand on the bill. McGrath spokesman E. O’Brien Murray said in an email that “after the election he would meet with the stakeholders to discuss the issue and gather input from all sides.”

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