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Controversial Nassau County Mini-Casino Months Away From Becoming A Reality

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- As a controversial mini-casino becomes a reality on Long Island, residents of Nassau County want to know its location and hours.

Off-track betting will float up to $100-million in tax exempt bonds to buy a site and develop a mini-casino in Nassau County.

"We considered not only the profitability or the location, but also community concerns," Nassau OTB President, Joseph Cairo said.

If more than 100-feet away from homes, churches, and schools the state will allow the gaming site to hold 1000 video lottery terminals that includes slot machines, as well as electronic table games such as roulette, baccarat, and black jack.

The mini-casino's location is being kept secret until the deed is signed, something expected to happen within weeks. This has not sat well with legislators on both sides of the aisle.

"Transparency. That's what people want. This issue has not come before legislators, so we don't even know exactly what their plans are," Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, (D) Nassau County Legislature said, "The fact that this one agency can take all this power and make all these decisions on their own is, is completely against what I think government should be."

The Plainview River Palace was considered and dismissed, and after pressure OTB agreed not to put it near the Coliseum, Hofstra, or Nassau Community College.

CBS2 has been told that the site is expected to be located a few miles east of the hub, accessible to parkways, and public transportation.

Residents who are still in the dark are passionate about where the mini-casino will end up and what it will mean to the bottom line.

"I am basically against gambling anywhere," one woman said, "It will also attract the wrong crowd in this great neighborhood."

"Casinos would be a good idea, bring in a lot more income," one man told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan.

The mini-casino will open in about 10 months, and is expected to generate $20-million a year.

Some residents who are against school speed zone cameras suggested that the county grab profits from Nassau OTB to offset losses if the camera tickets are repealed.

The state also granted Suffolk County permission to build one of its own.

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