Groundbreaking ceremony marks beginning of Jake's 58 Casino's $210M expansion project

Casino officials say the estimated two-year, $210 million project will create jobs – close to 130 permanent positions with benefits.

Caroline Flynn and Kurt Semder

Apr 15, 2024, 9:43 AM

Updated 41 days ago

Share:

A groundbreaking was held Monday morning on an expansion at Jake’s 58 – one that promises something for more Long Islanders to enjoy. That includes a spa, restaurants, a stage for concerts, rooms big enough for a wedding and conferences and refurbished hotel rooms.
The biggest parts of the expansion involve addressing current needs such as more parking and more gaming machines. The plans include a car garage that will help to triple the amount of parking spaces and a 110,000-square-foot building that will double the amount of slot machines.
"Many times, people come here and there's not enough games, almost all of them are taken, their favorite game is taken so they're waiting so when we put 1,000 more games in, that will solve a lot of these issues," explained Suffolk County Off Track Betting President Phil Boyle.
Casino officials say the estimated two-year, $210 million project will create jobs – close to 130 permanent positions with benefits.
Jim LaCarrubba, vice president of Jake's 58 added, "In the short term we are talking 800 construction jobs, local electricians, plumbers and carpenters."
Currently, Jake's 58 makes $288 million a year in revenue. Suffolk OTB predicts the expansion will produce an extra $100 million in revenue – a 42% increase.
"We are taxpayer friendly,” said Boyle. “We are a government-owned entity so our profits go to the schools, the New York State Education Department and also Suffolk County, our host county."
It also goes to the Village of Islandia, where they are situated. Jake's 58 pays the village $2.25 million annually in revenue. It will nearly double when the project is complete. The mayor of Islandia said this will eliminate property taxes for its 3,500 residents, which is concerning to attorney Paul Sabatino. He's represented the county in previous litigation against the casino.
"The power of the purse strings is the most important power that any municipality has got so if you surrender that, what's left for you to do?" Sabatino asked.
The Huntington Station-based attorney said he worries about the record of poor planning by Suffolk OTB and unpredictable events like a recession or pandemic.
News 12 reached out to the Village of Islandia for comment but have not heard back.
There's also potential for additional casinos opening nearby with table games, something SUFFOLK OTB isn't concerned about.
"I think we've had competition already from the casinos in Connecticut, there used to be a boat that went across the Sound to get people there from Long Island. Doesn't happen anymore because so many people are staying local and coming to Jake's and I think that's going to be the same situation," added Boyle.


More from News 12