Plans for a Medford electronic gambling parlor have been submitted by the Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. to the Town of Brookhaven. Meanwhile, both opponents and supporters await a decision by a New York State judge to stop the casino.
The off track betting (OTB) firm is relying on the 1,000 video lottery terminals (VLT) currently housed at a former Multiplex site in Brookhaven off Exist 64 on the Long Island Expressway to emerge from bankruptcy. The 90,500 square foot parlor would house the 1,000 VLT’s, but is being challenged by the Medford Taxpayers and Civic Association and the town’s Conservative Party. The lawsuit argues that the proposed casino site is not in compliance with zoning, would be the cause of traffic problems, and result in excessive drinking and an increase in crime. The lawsuit was heard by Judge Jerry Garguilo on December 9 in Riverhead.
After U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Carla E. Craig ordered the Brookhaven Town and Suffolk County to accept and review plans for the facility on November 30, and to issue the permit if it “conforms to the standards” of its uniform code, the plan was submitted to Brookhaven by the Suffolk OTB. On Tuesday, town attorney Annette Eaderesto said that after the initial plan was reviewed and commented on by Brookhaven staff, the Suffolk OTB is making revisions. Once the environmental review is completed and a final plan is submitted by the Suffolk OTB, it will be forwarded to the Suffolk Planning Commission. After which the plan will go to the Brookhaven Planning Board for approval, according to Newsday.
Comments on the environmental report are being accepted through early January, according to Suffolk OTB President Phil Nolan. Nolan said that Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.’s selection of Belmont Park, a state-run racing and entertainment facility, and home of the Belmont Stakes, for its electronic gambling parlor ““doesn’t hurt us. It is as far away from our facility and county as possible. So our facility will clearly be more convenient for our residents to patronize.” For two years the Nassau OTB has been in search of the best site for as many as 1,000 machines after finally setting on Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.