Belmont Park could get casino

- Playing the ponies won't be the only action at Belmont Park soon. Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting has chosen Belmont Park in Elmont, Long Island, as the best possible site for the latest video casino to "enhance the entertainment experience for visitors in an underutilized facility." County officials hope a projected $20 million in gambling revenue next year will help Nassau in a difficult time.

Officials say it will be a two-phase plan. The first part of it is a temporary facility with 1,000 VLT machines. Then down the road would come a much larger gambling parlor that would require state approval.

Not everyone agrees some local residents are opposed. Christy Reisig is furious. The Floral Park mom calls the whole thing sneaky - especially the announcement coming at a time when many people are away.

Stewart Manor Trustee John Egan is retired and lives on a fixed income. He says Aqueduct Racetrack and Resorts World Casino, although nearby, are in Queens. Any money brought in will help offset taxes.

The issue for many parents is also the close proximity of where the parking lot would be to the Floral Park-Bellerose Elementary School. At any given time, recess, gym, after school or weekends, hundreds if not thousands of kids and their families could be here.

Advocates against the casino say it won't happen if they have any say in the matter. They plan to rally in the New Year.
 

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