Belmont Park VLT gaming plan prompts rivaling rallies

They say the machines will bring jobs and much-needed money to the area.

They say the machines will bring jobs and much-needed money to the area. (1/30/16)

ELMONT - Advocates and critics of a plan to bring a casino to Belmont Racetrack each staged rallies Saturday to plead their cases.

As News 12 has reported, Nassau OTB has proposed plans to put 1,000 video lottery terminals in Belmont's western grandstand. The video gaming parlor has created a big debate in the community.

Hundreds of residents marched from Floral Park Memorial High School to Belmont Park to protest the plan.

Resident Lydia Becker told News 12 that the gambling parlor is "dangerous to the kids" and that it "brings the community down."

Those in favor of the VLTs at Belmont Park say it will create much-needed jobs and revenue in Nassau County. Dozens of supporters were at the park to support the cause Saturday afternoon.

Nassau OTB had no comment about the rallies, but told News 12 earlier this week that taxpayers could benefit from $24 million a year from gaming, restaurants and other amenities at Belmont Park.

The proposed gambling parlor still needs approval by the state.

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