Elmont Civics Say ‘No’ To Casino at Belmont

From the Parkhurst and Tudor Civic Associations:

Elmont, NY — It has come to our attention through both online sources and several articles in reputable newspapers, including the New York Times, that Governor Cuomo and the state of New York has granted permission to Nassau County OTB to implement 1,000 Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) within Nassau County.

To our absolute dismay, Nassau OTB has chosen Lot-A at beautiful Belmont Park. Lot-A is one of two lots that had purportedly been given to the Elmont Community to be used for economic development. This plan stagnated, and was seemingly on ‘life support’ for a long while when very abruptly, there was an unexpected display of activity. What is the sudden reason for this urgency to bring this project to fruition? Could it be the need for funds to balance the budget? Or will we have to hear of “unclear reasons” yet again?

This plan stagnated, and was seemingly on ‘life support’ for a long while when very abruptly, there was an unexpected display of activity. What is the sudden reason for this urgency to bring this project to fruition? Could it be the need for funds to balance the budget? Or will we have to hear of “unclear reasons” yet again?

What is the sudden reason for this urgency to bring this project to fruition? Could it be the need for funds to balance the budget? Or will we have to hear of “unclear reasons” yet again?

As members of this community, we need clarification from Nassau OTB, we expect involvement, and we demand approval of any plans that take place in our community.

To provide some background: Nassau OTB had previously proposed this VLT/casino to be placed in several other communities in Nassau County — specifically Plainview and Westbury. In both instances, constituents from the surrounding communities protested and successfully blocked this aggression. In nearby Suffolk County, Brookhaven has blocked Suffolk OTB and continues to keep them tied up in litigation. Meanwhile, our neighbors in the Floral Park Community are also waging a similar battle and we intend to join them. Nassau OTB’s last resort is now the Elmont/Belmont Property.

In both instances, constituents from the surrounding communities protested and successfully blocked this aggression. In nearby Suffolk County, Brookhaven has blocked Suffolk OTB and continues to keep them tied up in litigation. Meanwhile, our neighbors in the Floral Park Community are also waging a similar battle and we intend to join them. Nassau OTB’s last resort is now the Elmont/Belmont Property.

In nearby Suffolk County, Brookhaven has blocked Suffolk OTB and continues to keep them tied up in litigation. Meanwhile, our neighbors in the Floral Park Community are also waging a similar battle and we intend to join them. Nassau OTB’s last resort is now the Elmont/Belmont Property.

Parkhurst and Tudor Civic are firmly against the Casino-primarily due to the propensity for an increase in crime, and a decrease in quality of life.

What is already widely known is that gambling at VLTs/casinos is vastly different than wagering on horse races, which is what currently operates at Belmont Racetrack. It is important to note that betting on horse races at Belmont takes place 95 days per year, for 8 hours each day. In contrast, casino gambling operates for 365 days per year, 20 hours per day, and includes alcohol. This contrast is clearly just one indication that adding VLTs/casinos does not constitute a minor change or “more of the same.”

It is important to note that betting on horse races at Belmont takes place 95 days per year, for 8 hours each day. In contrast, casino gambling operates for 365 days per year, 20 hours per day, and includes alcohol. This contrast is clearly just one indication that adding VLTs/casinos does not constitute a minor change or “more of the same.”

As previously mentioned, OTB had previously proposed this casino be placed in several other communities, in Nassau County. Those communities have all protested and turned down OTB’s requests due to the potential for:

Increased crime, gambling, prostitution, alcoholism, stress to homeowners in the immediate area, and failing infrastructure, which are all attributable factors to urban decay. Homeowners with the means to do so will begin to relocate to other areas, often out of state, while those who cannot

Homeowners with the means to do so will begin to relocate to other areas, often out of state, while those who cannot will be forced to remain at the mercy of the county.

This was never the intention of The Elmont Vision Plan that was submitted on September 5, 2008, when community leaders and politicians met with NYRA, at Belmont Park. (List of Attendees and copy of the minutes available upon request).

Unfortunately, Elmont has now inherited this dreadful dilemma because the other communities have been successful in fending off Nassau OTB’s initiatives.

It is clear that there are major differences in what is being planned and what the community had hoped for and expected. While we would like to see redevelopment go forward at Belmont Park, we cannot accept Nassau OTB’s proposal.

We will not sit quietly and let others make decisions that we know are detrimental to our community; we have a right to say what is best for our community; we are united in our opposition; we demand to be heard because we deserve much better.

As the African proverb goes “When spiders unite, we could tie up lions.”

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#HigherHeights

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