The Islandia site chosen by Suffolk Off-Track Betting (OTB) for a 1,000 video lottery terminal (VLT) casino is expected to be received better than the previously chosen location in Medford.
In interviews last week, Suffolk County lawmakers said that the current site, the Marriott Hotel in Islandia, has several advantages over the previously chosen Medford site, including the fact that the hotel is located on a commercial strip and situated opposite that of most of Islandia’s residents who live south of the Expressway, according to the Newsday report.
Plans to build the casino at the Medford site had been in the works for more than a year. The 31-acre site on the south side of the Long Island Expressway at exit 64 was purchased by Suffolk OTB in November of 2014. However, the project was heavily opposed by the Medford Taxpayer’s and Civic Association and the Town of Brookhaven. The plan was scrapped by OTB earlier this year and last month Delaware North, the company financing and managing the project, submitted an application for a special permit to build the mini-casino at the hotel located between exits 57 and 58 on the north service road of the Long Island Expressway. Today at 7:30pm a public hearing is scheduled to address the request.
Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) told the news outlet that he hasn’t received much feedback from residents regarding the casino plans, but that there was some mention of the Marriott’s proximity to Motor Parkway. He said, “The feedback has not been overwhelming one way or the other. There are concerns, appropriate concerns, about traffic,” and, “Motor Parkway is a county road, so that’s a concern.”
Interest in the Islandia site was confirmed by OTB officials in a June 29 letter to the judge who is in charge of overseeing the OTB’s bankruptcy. The OTB firm, a Suffolk Legislature appointed nonprofit, is relying on the 1,000 VLT’s to bring it out of bankruptcy. The plan is expected to be addressed during a hearing on Wednesday in Bankruptcy Court in Brooklyn.
Last month the OTB revealed that the site of the former Brookhaven Multiplex it purchased in November is now on the market.