Jake’s 58 Casino Expansion Gets Green Light Amid Local Concerns

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The Islandia Village Board in Long Island, New York, has given the go-ahead for a $200 million expansion of Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel in a 5-0 vote.

The unanimous approval came after a nearly two-hour public hearing on Tuesday, August 1, during which members of the public, local politicians, and executives from the project developer Suffolk Off Track Betting Corporation were invited to speak on the project.

Despite some opposition from the public to the plans, the Board was not swayed, and as expected, voted the expansion through.

The new development, which is expected to double the casino’s video lottery gaming terminals from 1,000 to 2,000, add hundreds of parking spaces, and refurbish hotel rooms, reflects the success of the Jake’s 58 venue.

It has been one of the most profitable gambling operations in New York state since it opened in February 2017, bringing in an average of $350 million a month, according to the New York Gaming Commission.

A Boost for Islandia and Suffolk OTB

The casino has been a significant revenue source for Suffolk OTB, which managed to escape bankruptcy in 2020 with the help of Jake’s 58 revenue.

The village of Islandia is also set to benefit, receiving $47 million spread over 20 years from Suffolk OTB and Jake’s previous owner, Buffalo hospitality giant Delaware North.

Jake’s 58 has raked in more than $1 billion in gross revenue in the last three months alone, an average of $350 million per month. Those revenues contributed about $31 million to the state’s public education fund.

“We’re so grateful for Islandia Mayor [Allan] Dorman and the village board for this approval. They’ve been great partners through the years, and we’ll continue long into the future with our expanded Jake’s 58,” said President of Suffolk OTB Phil Boyle, speaking to local media outlet Patch.  

Addressing Concerns

Despite the economic benefits, the expansion has raised concerns about problem gambling. Pamela Brenner-Davis, who runs the Uniondale office of the state-sponsored Problem Gambling Resource Center, said she expects calls to the service will increase when the expanded Jake’s 58 opens in two years.

Tags promoting the program and a toll-free hotline are posted on Jake’s 58 betting terminals and in casinos throughout the state.

Islandia Village Mayor Allan M. Dorman said Suffolk’s proposal for elevated pedestrian crosswalks and speed bumps was inadequate, suggesting a pedestrian bridge instead. However, he said those concerns were not enough to block approval of the expansion.

Boyle said Suffolk OTB would consider modifying its plan, and that it will do everything it can it make sure that the expansion addresses and concerns and satisfies the community.

As part of that, the new casino design will include an 800-foot insulated sound barrier to protect local residents from the elevated noise levels.

Looking Ahead

The expansion plan calls for a new 110,000-square-foot building to be constructed behind the existing casino-hotel. Parking would more than triple, from 600 spaces to about 2,000.

“We’re going to have more than enough parking with the big, beautiful new facility,” said Boyle.

The new building will also house 1,000 new betting terminals, plus about 500 machines from the current casino. Both buildings will include new restaurants and bars, and Suffolk OTB says it plans to eventually include a retail sportsbook venue.

The hotel’s 210 guest rooms would be upgraded, and a swimming pool and conference rooms that were eliminated to make room for more gaming space six years ago would be restored.

The expansion is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs, and eventually more jobs in the casino and hotel.

Related: The best sportsbooks in New York, compared and rated

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