12/29/2015 5:39PM

Nassau OTB picks Belmont Park as VLT parlor site


Nassau County Off-Track Betting has selected Belmont Park as a location to place 1,000 video lottery terminals, the company announced Tuesday, but the project still faces several hurdles before it becomes a reality.

In a statement Tuesday, Nassau County OTB officials said:

“After exhaustive study and review, including the input of nationally recognized consultants to the gaming industry, Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting (NROTB) strongly believes that Belmont Park is the best possible site for the location of a Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) facility.

“We are working with the County Executive to ensure that Nassau County and the local communities receive increased benefits from this enhancement to a facility that has hosted horse race wagering for more than a century. The addition of VLTs and other first class amenities to existing gaming operations will enhance the entertainment experience for visitors to Belmont Park as well as producing revenue that will support vital public services that the county provides to its neediest residents.”

According to media reports, Nassau OTB proposes building a temporary facility on an eight-acre parcel of land adjacent to the west end of the Belmont grandstand. According to Newsday, OTB would erect a temporary facility that could open in four to six months while lobbying state officials for a permanent 15,000-square-foot facility which would include restaurants, a food court, a simulcast area, and administrative offices.

A spokesman for the New York Racing Association declined comment on the proposal.

Further, it is also unclear how, or if, NYRA and the racing industry would benefit from revenue derived at a VLT facility at Belmont.

In 2013, state lawmakers gave both Nassau and Suffolk OTBs permission to open a 1,000 VLT parlor in their respective counties. However, both companies have met opposition from residents and politicians within previous sites selected.

Nassau County executive Edward Mangano had budgeted in 2016 for approximately $20 million in revenue from Nassau OTB’s video lottery project. He is in support of the project happening at Belmont Park.

"Belmont Park is a logical selection as the existing gaming facility is underutilized,” Mangano said in a statement. “The next step is to further discussions with local legislators and OTB to create a community benefits program that keeps property taxes down, invests in schools, addresses ingress and egress concerns while creating jobs and providing residents with a local entertainment option that keeps their dollars invested locally."

News outlets on Long Island have already reported that several towns near Belmont are opposed to the idea of slots at the track due to concerns over an increase in crime and traffic.

Newsday reported that the village of Floral Park, the closest town to Belmont, has hired a law firm to advise it on a potential lawsuit to block the project.

It remains to be seen how Genting, the company that operates 5,300 VLTs at the Resorts World casino at Aqueduct, would react to a VLT project just eight miles away.


Andres Bonifacio More than 1 year ago
resorts world casino in aqueduct race track needs a competition!!!!! resorts world casino is a thief!!!!!! nobody wins!!!!
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
No surprise that Nassau County wanted the parlor on literally the NYC/Nassau County border line. I would've put on Northern Long Island and get all of the rich/retired people $$$$$.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Put em in Cuomos' Mansion. Let the bummy winos pee all over his place.
strangerl More than 1 year ago
enough of the slots--racing is a dead game as it is, if it wasn't for the slots monies, NYRA would be bankrupted, why keep this charade going ?
Anthony More than 1 year ago
No way can we allow these politicians to ruin another racing institution. First, they'll allow 1,000 VLTs, then 2,000 and there goes the clientele and the neighborhood. Let's get out the pitchforks.
Rich Miskell More than 1 year ago
Nathan More than 1 year ago
Belmont is an empty shell. Why put up a new structure? Use the empty space.