Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano on Tuesday joined a growing number of local officials in expressing opposition to the Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation’s plan to house a video gambling parlor in the vacant Fortunoff building at The Source mall in Westbury.
“While I have no jurisdiction over the matter and given the many questions to be addressed, I stand with residents in opposition to Fortunoff as the site of gaming in Nassau and have made my position known to OTB,” Mangano said in a statement.
The parlor, which is expected to hold up to 1,000 video slot machines, would occupy 15 percent, or 30,000 square-feet, of the roughly 200,000 square-foot building. OTB officials have said they expect the parlor to open in 2015.
The four-story building housing the gambling parlor will feature restaurants and a food court in the building’s remaining space, OTB has said. Administrative offices will also occupy the space.
Mangano joins Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana Russell and Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray in opposing the plan, which was announced Dec. 30.
Both Russell and Bosworth have said the plan lacks transparency and didn’t have any community input.
The Fortunoff building is located in the Town of Hempstead, but Bosworth has said adjacent communities in the Town of North Hempstead will be adversely affected, such as Carle Place, Westbury and New Cassel.
Bosworth has said she wants OTB to halt any current discussion on the plan until OTB can bring the discussion out into the light more.
Murray wrote a letter to OTB saying that she opposed the casino because of increased traffic, parking and the negative impact it might have on natural resources and municipal services.
OTB officials have said that they have a history of working with people in surrounding communities.
The new facility, they said, will create 200 jobs, revenue for the county and bring economic revitalization to the area.