Off-Track Betting

Off-Track Betting Credit: Newsday File / June 2008

Despite its provocative Web site image of a scantily clad woman lounging on a leather couch, the new Wednesday night format at the Nassau County Regional Off-Track Betting facility in Plainview will be "good clean fun" aimed at a younger audience and will not involve any nudity, officials said Monday.

To attract a younger audience during the middle of the week, the three-story Nassau OTB "Race Palace" will open its doors for dining by 6 p.m. and turn into a nightclub featuring live entertainment by 9 p.m. starting Wednesday, said Steven Carl, restaurateur for the facility, who made the arrangement.

Some of the dancers will include a contortionist, he said, but nothing more provocative than that, along with the usual televised racetrack betting. "It's nothing risque," Carl said. "We're keeping it very clean."

A Web site by Long Island Promotional Group, the entertainment provider for "X S Wednesdays," as it will be called, promises a restaurant and lounge featuring "The Skin Room." The "V" bar boasts of  "A whole new set of rules . . . There are no rules." Customers are asked to wear "upscale attire," for men to be older than age 23 and women over 21.

Irene Naudus, Nassau OTB director, said the new format at the OTB facility, which it bought in 2004, will be "good, clean fun" and is an attempt to draw a wider and younger clientele.

Nassau OTB is a public benefit corporation that directs all of its profits from wagering into Nassau County's general fund, according to its Web site. Since its 1975 inception, it has generated $241 million in profits for Nassau County, according to the Web site.

Ed Ward, a spokesman for Legis. Peter Schmitt, the GOP minority leader, said they weren't aware of the new Wednesday promotion and format and had no further comment about it.

Nassau County presiding officer Diane Yatauro said, "This ad appears to be in very poor taste. Clearly, it sends an inappropriate message."

And Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) said the ad was, "offensive, in bad taste and we shouldn't tolerate it."

Katrina King, a spokeswoman for LIPG, the firm providing the entertainment, said there would be no nudity during the dancing and entertainment.

Asked about their Internet image with a scantily clad woman, King said "the Web site was designed to attract a younger generation and in no way will anyone be inappropriately dressed."

With Sid Cassese

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