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Plainview Has 'Grave Concerns' over Video Slots Proposal

School Board fears 'dramatic negative impact;' Nassau Legislature could discuss Race Palace plan Monday.

The OTB Race Palace at 1600 Round Swamp Road in Plainview.
The OTB Race Palace at 1600 Round Swamp Road in Plainview.
A proposal to transform the OTB Race Palace in Plainview to include 1,000 video slot machines is meeting widespread condemnation in the community.

Private citizens and the Plainview's Board of Education have expressed deep concerns over the proposal, although no formal decision has been announced by state or county officials.

"I urge all of the organizations and stakeholders in Plainview-Old Bethpage and neighboring areas who value the quality of life in our community to follow our lead and speak out against the proposed video lottery casino at the Race Palace while we can still stop it from becoming a reality," said Gary Bettan, a member of the school board.

In fact, the Board of Education passed a resolution recently saying it is "extremely concerned regarding the potential for a dramatic negative impact on the school community" from the proposal.

County Executive Edward P. Mangano has said previously that his office is conducting a study of the Plainview OTB Race Palace option. The review is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Mangano has said.

The school board's resolution cited the fact that three of Plainview's schools are located within two miles of the Race Palace and that a "casino will likely bring additional traffic that could impact and pose a risk to the safe and efficient travel of our students, staff, and school buses. especially if patrons of the casino leave the area driving under the influence of alcohol."

The resolution goes on to cite a number of negative impacts the board said could accompany such a gaming facility in Plainview. Read the full resolution here.

Community sources indicated the Nassau County Legislature will discuss the issue Monday at 1 p.m. in Mineola. It is not clear that any decision will result from that meeting.

Carol Meschkow, President of Concerned Citizens of POB, told community members through Facebook that she had reached out to Mangano about the community's "grave concerns." Mangano, Meschkow said, assured her "that Nassau OTB has not made any decisions yet." Several Nassau locations are under consideration, she said.

"The County Executive has certainly heard our concerns loud and clear," Meschkow said.

The Race Palace is located at Plainview's eastern end where Old Country Road and Round Swamp Road converge. The high-end Off Track Betting facility is also just off the Long Island Expressway. It contains scores of large screen TVs and betting windows to wager on horse races across the country.

The facility, which also has a restaurant and bar, has been identified as one of the possible sites in Nassau and Suffolk to operate 1,000 "video lottery terminals." A "cut" from the terminals generates revenues for local counties.


LS November 26, 2013 at 02:19 AM
This is a terrible idea. The casino at Aqueduct race track in Queens draws many thousands of people a day, some even bused in from Manhattan. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m., and has the usual accompanying bars, etc. This isn't something we need here in Plainview.
Joe Dowd (Editor) November 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM
I would like to hear more opinions on this from the community. We're closely monitoring developments in this story. jd
Frank Posillico November 26, 2013 at 10:40 PM
The video lottery terminals are operated in conjunction with the New York State Lottery, which by design funnels its profits to education. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. The location is away from residential areas right off the LIE next to a hotel and across the street from a commercial office building. The majority of patrons would most likely use the LIE to access the Race Palace. Sounds likes the locals are over reacting with a NIMBY attitude!
John Ryder November 26, 2013 at 11:32 PM
How come the Plainview residents didn't mind when The Race Palace opened in 2004 ? Nassau OTB took a place where tons of young adults went to "Party" and see concerts and a motorcycle club had a murder there...then an Upscale OTB was O.K. ? Now it's not ? And slots draw an entirely different customer than a concert venue...those elderly ladies are a real threat to POB Schools...they're known to party and Drunk Drive...right ??? Come on...get a grip...
John Ryder November 26, 2013 at 11:42 PM
BTW, Francesca, owner of the hardware store on Old Country Rd and Past (?) President of the Plainview/Old Bethpage Chamber of COMMERCE Welcomed us with open arms in 2004...!!! There has been no downside or negative impact to Plainview since opening day 2/19/04...
Dorothy A Whalen November 30, 2013 at 03:24 PM
I don't see a problem. This building is out of the way, near a parkway, and they already have racing ( and gambling.) We need the money, school taxes are killing all of us, so i agree, think it over. So many complained about every plan for the Coliseum, and now we don't have a team. thanks for that. You can't have your cake, and eat it too. School taxes supposed to have a big jump this year, but we who have been living in Plainview for 50+ years have paid long enough. I see nothing wrong with the video lottery terminals.
Dorothy A Whalen December 02, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Who is Lance?
CCPOBC December 03, 2013 at 12:39 AM
SIGN THE ON-LINE PETITION - Say No To Video Slots in POB..... http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/say-no-to-video-slots-in-plainview.html Visit us on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/neighbor.t.neighbor Visit our website at: www.concernedcitizenspob.org
Lady Samantha December 31, 2013 at 03:52 AM
I somehow didn't see this story until now. Enough casino's already. Do we really need anymore in the Tri-state area. We have two in NY, two in CT, andAtlantic City--enough already!

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