Attorney Christopher F. Graham is representing Suffolk OTB, a group planning to operate a video lottery casino within the Islandia Marriott hotel. On Tuesday, Graham reported plans of the venue to a federal bankruptcy court judge stating that the construction of the venue will move forward with construction starting soon and an opening date set for December.
The attorney received the casino architectural plans last week and demolition is already beginning to take place at the location along Long Island Expressway North Service Road. Speaking during a Brooklyn hearing, Graham told United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Carla E. Craig that the project is moving full speed ahead.
The hearing that took place was the first one to occur since August when the Islandia Village Board voted in favor of a special permit for the casino. The plan was also approved by the state gaming commission. According to officials associated with the Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., the casino will contain 1,000 video lottery gaming terminals. The gaming option will be used to try and help the agency climb their way back from staggering debt. The company actually owes millions to several creditors and continue to lose money with their horse racing ventures as the sport is becoming less and less popular.
The plan does face some opposition by residents of Islandia but the casino was able to be approved despite the feelings of some the locals. Opponents actually filed a lawsuit to try and block the facility from being created and according to Craig, this was done because no one wanted to see the facility in their back yard.
The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court in Riverhead and lawyers for OTB are currently reviewing whether the suit will have an effect on the gaming venue. The Village of Islandia and Delaware North were named in the suit. Delaware North is a gaming conglomerate based in Buffalo, they will be financing and operating the casino for Suffolk OTB.
Little details have been revealed as to what the casino will actually contain or look like, but Graham did state that rooms located in the betting parlor will have names based on famous painters of history such as Renoir.
The opening of the venue has been planned according to the horse racing season, set for the very end. This is when OTB usually loses out on revenues so the company is hoping the opening of the gaming venue will help to bring in much-needed funds. The group needs to be able to earn some revenues in any case as they are due back in bankruptcy court in January.