Casino “Bad Idea”


Town of North Hempstead Supervisor made sure she verbalized the message in no uncertain terms, “the casino is a bad idea and no study will turn a bad idea into a good idea.” Bosworth stood with more than a thousand people on Old Country Road in front of the Source Mall, in a continued protest against Nassau OTB’s plans to bring video lottery terminals to the Fortunoff’s building.

Protesters of all ages from Westbury, Carle Place, Meadowbrook Pointe and surrounding communities held up signs and chanted “no no casino,” as cars driving by honked in agreement.

casino 1The rally was organized by Stop the Casino at Fortunoff’s, a grassroots organization comprised of local residents who feel that bringing a VLT to the community will compromise their quality of life.

“We felt that this action was necessary because the Nassau County legislature needs to know we’re within a stone’s throw of this proposed casino. That neighborhood across the street is going to be destroyed. Eventually, if they have their way, they will take over the whole mall and we want to stop that,” said John Viscusi, who helped spearhead the Stop the Casino at Fortunoff’s group.

Nassau OTB says the 1,000 video lottery terminals will only take up 15 percent of the exiting building; however the site is near 1,000 residential homes as well as close to several schools.

casino 2

“Carle Place and Westbury are family communities and a casino belongs no where near families,” said lifelong Carle Place resident Kristin Biggin. “The casino is wrong for this community and politicians need to listen to us.”

The rally came on the heels of Thursday night’s public information session at St. Brigid’s School where residents packed the auditorium to find out more about the project. Though OTB has not signed a contract yet, officials say they expect it to be finalized by the end of this month. However, if the contract is passed, Viscusi says that doesn’t mean the fight is over.

“We have a legal team that will then take over that is well equipped and established to take it from there,” he said.


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Betsy Abraham is the former senior managing editor at Anton Media Group and editor of The Westbury Times and Massapequa Observer. She also wrote for Long Island Weekly.


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