Bolton’s new book: Buy or pass?
John Bolton’s much-anticipated-and-litigated White House memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” is scheduled to go on sale Tuesday. You’ve already heard the tidbits about President Donald Trump suggesting he’d quash inconvenient investigations for foreign leaders; or his musing that it would be “cool” to invade Venezuela. To help you decide whether to shell out the $32.50 cover price for the rest of it, The Point got an early copy and took a look at what Bolton says about members of the extended New York political universe.
—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
It’s been a hard day’s night...
In an interview Friday, Rep. Lee Zeldin sounded excited to head off to Tulsa with President Donald Trump, where he expected to see massive crowds and address an overflow audience outside. Zeldin said he did speak in an interview format on the outside stage around 3 p.m. as the much-smaller-than-expected crowd began to file in the arena. The Shirley Republican, who has been lambasted for not wearing a mask throughout Trump’s speech as he sat with other VIP attendees who were not socially distancing, told The Point Monday that he spoke to Trump shortly before the end of the return flight “solely about the content of the speech” and the president “was in good spirits.”
Here he’s seen leaving Air Force One behind an exhausted Trump after, according to Zeldin, they landed at Andrews Air Force Base around 1 a.m.
—Lane Filler @lanefiller
Our fearless leader
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Nassau, Suffolk OTBs betting on July, and VLTS
For Long Islanders who love to bet on horses and the Off-Track Betting corporations that make it possible, Saturday’s Belmont Stakes was a return to normality, with lots of unusual twists. The nation’s eyes were focused on New York racing and with no attendance allowed at Belmont Park, the Nassau and Suffolk OTBs, offering internet, phone and some in-person wagering, had a fairly busy day.
But that won’t pay the bills, because while horse racing is the traditional bread and butter of both OTBs, slot parlors are their meal ticket now. Both the OTBs and the counties have become increasingly dependent on the cash from VLTs, with Suffolk living off the busy machines of Jake’s 58 and Nassau drawing life-giving cash from the machines operated on its behalf at the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct.
Since coronavirus hit and the casinos closed, Nassau County has failed to get its quarterly $5 million payment from the OTB, and Suffolk is not seeing its gaming payment, which is much lower as the Suffolk OTB fights to get out of bankruptcy.
So when will slot players and the industry see some relief?
Both Nassau OTB President Joe Cairo and Suffolk OTB President Phil Nolan are hoping for July 8, when the state is supposed to enter Phase 4 of reopening. And both men predict a ton of pent up demand focused on fewer machines, as the state enforces safety and distancing rules.
“I’d love to have 500 machines [of the 1,000 at Jake’s 58],” Nolan said. “And we’ll do whatever it takes, and more than the state requires, to make sure we adhere to every possible safety measure and precaution.”
In other words, he’s promising gambling won’t be too much of a gamble, once they get a chance to offer it again.
—Lane Filler @lanefiller