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New OTB parlor fails to win, place or show

The sport of kings may not get the royal treatment on Kings Highway. The New York City Off-Track Betting (OTB) Corporation recently reached out to Community Board 18, hoping to give a presentation to the board about its desire to open a new facility. The response that OTB officials received was far from friendly. “I told them we don’t need more of these [facilities],” said Dorothy Turano, the district manager of the community board. The OTB facility might be coming to 4930 Kings Highway, once home to a bank, Turano said. “We do not support the opening, Turano added. She described an existing OTB location at Avenue U and Flatbush Avenue as “sleazy.” “It’s just not classy,” she said. “It doesn’t serve the residents.” The problem, as Turano sees it, is that OTB doesn’t need the board to approve the arrival—it can open without any special public approvals, she noted. Turano said that even if the Avenue U location is shuttered, the Kings Highway parlor would not be welcome. “The money [the facilities generate] is supposed to be earmarked for a general fund…I haven’t seen anything good come from OTB,” Turano added. At press time, OTB officials did not return calls for comment. OTB officials also reached out to local politicians, including State Senator Carl Kruger, who did not support the new location. “I’m not in favor of gambling,” Kruger said. “I think OTB targets the wrong people, the people who can least afford to be victimized.” Kruger said he met with high-ranking OTB officials who said the Avenue U location would be closed, and the Kings Highway location simultaneously opened. He said he supported the closure of the Avenue U site, but whether the facility should open on Kings Highway should ultimately rest in the hands of the community.

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