Floral Park does not want or need a casino or casino gaming at Belmont Park. On this issue, Floral Park’s mayors and village boards, both past and present, together with the citizens of this great village, have made our position clear for years.
In 2007, when Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) were first proposed at Belmont Park, former Mayor Phil Guarnieri, along with the village board at the time, led the fight to stop that ill-conceived plan.
In 2011, there were proposals for a full-blown casino to be operated by the Shinnecock Indian Nation at Belmont Park.
As your mayor, I lead this village’s near-unanimous opposition to that plan at Belmont Park.
Once again, in November 2013, when asked to vote on a casino referendum to our state constitution, the residents of Floral Park let their voices be heard loud and clear as we voted 2-1 against such an amendment. Our opposition and informed vote was unique. We were the only community on all of Long Island, indeed the only one of two communities in the entire state, who carefully considered its vote and understood the ramifications of such an approval.
The village board, along with the Belmont Task Force, said then and assert again today: the community that supports a constitutional amendment to permit casino gaming may very well be signing its own ticket to downfall and ruin.
How that prediction has come ring true.
The residents of Floral Park, a hosting community of Belmont Park, let its voice, by its vote, be heard loud and clear and responded with a resounding, “no.”
Therefore, the Village of Floral Park should be the last community on Long Island considered for such an operation, as opposed to one of the first. We have enjoyed a peaceful, neighborly coexistence with Belmont Park for more than a century and we have invested too much in our relationship to allow a short-term get-rich scheme to ruin our long-term neighborly friendship. Keeping Belmont Park a world-class thoroughbred venue is the want, need and desire of its closest neighbor, the Village of Floral Park. And no one should underestimate our resolve to fight this issue.
—Mayor Thomas Tweedy