Today’s news:

More games at Aqueduct: Pol

The video lottery terminals planned for Aqueduct may be joined at the Ozone Park track by their game of chance cousins — electronic blackjack, craps and roulette — if one state senator’s proposal is enacted.

State Sen. Jeff Klein (D−Bronx) is suggesting that the other casino games should be installed at Aqueduct and other state racetracks where VLTs — devices similar to slot machines — are approved in an effort to boost revenue for education amid the state’s fiscal woes.

His colleague, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D−Howard Beach), whose district covers Aqueduct, is endorsing the idea.

“We probably wouldn’t be talking about this if it wasn’t for bad fiscal times,” Addabbo said in a telephone interview Friday. “If we have the opportunity to help to an extent the education part of the budget ... then we should explore some of these alternatives.”

Klein said the plan, which he introduced in the state Senate last week, would boost education revenue by $150 billion if it goes through.

He noted that Gov. David Paterson’s budget proposal slashes education funding by $698 million — or more than 3 percent — from last year’s budget.

“In these dire fiscal times we need smart solutions that not only maintain essential services, but keep our schools strong,” he said in a statement. “It is essential that our children get the quality education they deserve, which can be accomplished through growing lottery revenue.”

The senator said the state takes a $3.3 billion hit on revenues by New York residents gambling in Atlantic City, noting that nearly a quarter of Atlantic City visitors came from New York in 2007.

The bill has support from Gordon Medenica, director of the state Lottery, Leonie Haimson of the education advocacy group Class Size Matters and Kim Sweet of Advocates for Children.

Installation of 4,500 VLTs at Aqueduct and the construction of other amenities will be underway once the state signs off on a memorandum of understanding with Delaware North, the Buffalo−based company that was awarded the VLT contract.

Delaware North could not be reached for comment on the proposal.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group