After much anticipation, Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino opened today at 1 pm with only about 30 minutes advanced notice via a Facebook post. Jake’s 58 is the first casino on Long Island and offers New York State Lottery video game terminals, but no blackjack, roulette, or other traditional casino games.
According to a report on Newsday.com, general manager Chuck Kilroy asked his staff if they were ready before the doors opened and dozens of people climbed the steps to enter the video lottery terminal parlor in the former Islandia Marriott Long Island hotel.
Delaware North Companies, who financed and will manage the casino operations recently purchased the hotel. The gaming center operates under a license granted to Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., who have fought long and hard to open a casino on Long Island. The license emanates from a 2013 voter referendum that granted video lottery terminal casino licenses to Suffolk OTB and Nassau OTB. Nassau decided to forego the fight for a location and in a somewhat unusual move, decided to place their allotment of 1,000 machines in Resorts World New York at the Aqueduct racetrack.
Those two VLT license were authorized along with four full casino licenses in Upstate New York, and three more that are under embargo until 2020. One of those will go to Metro New York City, presumably Resorts World, and Empire Casino at Yonkers Raceway is interested in another. It’s unclear who may want the final license in a couple of years.
The New York Gaming Commission issued the casino a certificate of operations this morning and Delaware North made an announcement just before noon. Word didn’t spread quickly until social media got in on the act.
Opening day is seen as a ‘soft-launch’ as only 265 of the venues 1,000 machines are in place and operational. 34 more are expected to be added next month and the full complement should be up and running by summer.