Controversy in Long Island regarding casino

The site of the projected casino is Belmont Park in the town of Elmont.
The site of the projected casino is Belmont Park in the town of Elmont.

Nassau is likely to build a Video Lottery Terminal casino and residents are disputing over the project.

US.- Residents of Long Island have mixed feelings on the impact the creation of a casino in Nassau may have in their communities. After Governor Andrew Cuomo approved the casino three years ago, the site had to be changed three times. Belmont Park, the current proposed site in the town of Elmont, is on state owned land, so the legislature has the last word.

Mayor Thomas Tweedy from Floral Park, a town located adjacent to Belmont Park, organised a 2000 person rally against the casino, as he believes it will have a negative impact on crime, traffic and local businesses. Tweedy said he is ready to sue if the legislature approves the project.

“The response of our residents and our community was immediate and visceral,” Tweedy said. “Our business community is completely against it. We’ve been building a coalition of communities and organisations here in town. Our Floral Park chamber of commerce has studied the issues and have come out completely against it.”

On the other hand, Patrick Nicolosi, President of the Elmont East End Civic Association, believes the casino will create jobs and raise money to improve the local school districts. Furthermore, Nassau County executive Ed Mangano included US$20 million dollars of potential revenue in his 2016 budget proposal.