Posted on: August 1, 2023, 03:44h.
Last updated on: July 31, 2023, 05:31h.
Owned and operated by Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (Suffolk OTB), company officials are hoping to double the number of video lottery terminals (VLTs) that the casino offers from 1,000 to 2,000 gaming positions. The 100,000-square-foot expansion will allow for additional VLTs plus a VIP gaming lounge, several new restaurants and bars, and a multilevel parking lot.
The $200 million budget additionally includes updating all 210 guestrooms at the on-site hotel. But before construction can begin, the Islandia Village Board must approve the project.
The board last month voted 4-0 to preliminarily approve the plan, but a final vote is still needed. That is set to occur tomorrow evening beginning at 6 pm at Village Hall when the board will hold a public comment session. Following the public discussion, the board is expected to formally vote on the project application.
Suffolk OTB took full control of Jake's 58 in May 2021 after buying out Delaware North, which helped Suffolk finance the building of the VLT casino inside what was formerly the Marriott Islandia hotel. Delaware North purchased the Marriott property on Suffolk's behalf for $40.4 million in early 2017 and bankrolled the renovation into a VLT casino.
In exchange for the funding, Suffolk agreed to a 50-year lease with Delaware North. But Delaware North agreed to allow Suffolk to terminate the lease early should its financial position approve and the OTB firm have the financial wherewithal to fully acquire the property.
Jake's has been one of the most successful VLT “racinos” in New York since such gaming machines were legalized less than a decade ago. That helped transform Suffolk OTB and allow the off-track betting operator and facilitator of nearly three dozen QWIK Betz locations to amass enough capital to buy out Delaware North.
Suffolk paid Delaware North $120 million to end the lease agreement and become the property owner of Jake's 58. Still with enough remaining capital, Suffolk wants to expand its gaming footprint, and its petition to the Islandia Village Board comes as New York state officials are considering downstate applications for Las Vegas-style casinos.
Las Vegas Sands, the world's largest casino operator in terms of market capitalization, is seeking to construct an integrated resort on the grounds of the Nassau Coliseum. Jake's is about 30 miles east of where Sands wants to bring slot machines, live dealer table games, and sports betting.
Suffolk officials say they will break ground in early November should tomorrow evening's Village Board go in its favor. Along with the aforementioned expansion plans, the $200 million project includes a barrier wall to be built on the property's easternmost edge.
Nearby residents have complained about noise from the casino in recent years. Jake's 58 reps say, with local approval, they'll place an 800-foot-long, 10-foot-high sound wall to help alleviate those complaints.
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