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Letters: No casino at Belmont Park

The racing track at Belmont Park.

The racing track at Belmont Park. Photo Credit: Shannon O'Connor

Thank you, columnist Joye Brown, for “Long-shot odds for OTB future” [News column, Jan. 14]. Finally, someone who makes sense!

Why can’t our public officials possess the same type of logical thinking? Have they even done the research on the social and economic impacts of video-lottery-terminal parlors? That they keep trying to shove these “casinos” down our throats, despite community opposition, demonstrates a blatant disregard for the residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

As Brown mentioned, off-track betting hasn’t turned a profit in Suffolk since 2006, and Nassau since 2008. Casinos are a losing proposition.

Dayna Romano, Medford


I keep hearing the argument that there has been gambling at Belmont Park for more than 100 years [“Casino clash at legislature,” News, Jan. 26].

So, proponents of a VLT casino say it’s appropriate to build there. This is such a misleading statement. There’s an enormous difference between the frequency of gambling there now, only a few months of the year and only in the afternoon. A VLT casino with restaurants and bars would operate 20 hours every day.

What could go wrong with gambling addicts around homes and an elementary school every day?

Nassau County hopes to increase revenue by opening a VLT casino, but the county will destroy property values in surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Kevin Gormley, Floral Park


I strongly oppose the proposed casino at Belmont Park. It would irreparably damage our communities and the quality of life for our children and future generations.

Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. is a failing entity that has pumped little funds into New York State schools. This appears to be one more attempt to overpromise great economic advantage to a community of middle- to lower-class families that, it is assumed, will jump at the promise of community improvement. Our community leaders have other ideas that will actually create a sustainable income and produce jobs on the vacant land at Belmont. It is past time to allow the people of the affected communities to determine for themselves the best way to improve their economic conditions.

Increased traffic on our already packed and overstressed roads will create community havoc. As with OTB’s earlier proposal to place a casino in Westbury, our strong community opposition must be listened to by those in position to cancel this plan. It is time to let the Nassau OTB die!

William Youngfert, Franklin Square


I lived in Floral Park for 30 years, and I live within a quarter-mile of Belmont Park.

It’s unfathomable to me that the politicians of Nassau County and New York State could believe that gambling is the cure for much of our budgetary woe. These same politicians are apparently deaf to the outrage expressed by every community threatened with VLT gambling.

Perhaps Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo or Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano would welcome a casino in their neighborhoods? Maybe not.

Jim McGurren, Floral Park