(Newsday) Nassau County may have hit it big with the video lottery terminal deal at Aqueduct Racetrack, and if the cards are played right, many nice jackpots could result.
For years, Nassau County and its off-track betting corporation have been fighting to site video lottery terminals, what most of us call slots. First, they fought for state approval, and were finally granted the right to host 1,000 machines in 2013. Then they fought to site the VLTs — and quickly sank into the morass of opposition from angry residents and local politicians.
The fumbling of the siting by Nassau’s elected officials and the battling within the county GOP stalled the project and almost sank it.
First, a proposed location in Westbury was annihilated by community pressure. Then there was talk of the Hub in Uniondale, the Five Towns and finally Belmont Park. That last proposal both riled local residents and got tied up in politics. Now, after secret negotiations and extensive work by state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury) and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, lawmakers in Albany have agreed to a deal that will put Nassau’s machines at the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct, where Genting New York LLC already operates about 5,400 machines. Nassau will get $9 million in each of the first two years while Genting gets the operation rolling and deals with permitting issues. After that, Nassau will get $25 million a year in perpetuity, plus annual inflation adjustments.
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Updated April 2, 2016 | Newsday