Suffolk Off-Track Betting officials take another shot at building Medford casino
A new video lottery casino could be on its way to Suffolk County - but opposition is standing in the way.
Suffolk Off-Track Betting officials are placing bets that it will get state and local approval needed to bring more gambling to Long Island despite ongoing opposition from local community leaders.
Suffolk OTB, which currently operates Jake's 58 Casino in Islandia, is seeking authorization from the state for an additional 1,000 video lottery terminals to be located in Islandia or on a property owned by OTB in Medford.
Suffolk OTB officials say an application has been placed with the Town of Brookhaven to build a 160,000-square-foot casino.
"Now we are at a point where we are looking at additional opportunities to expand the successful model and meet the demands that exist on Long Island for additional machines," says OTB spokesman Jon Schneider.
It was back in 2016 when OTB proposed building a 98,000-square-foot casino on the 32-acre site, but because of community opposition, the project never happened.
Opposition is still just as fierce years later. Civic leaders say OTB has no chance to win this battle, which had been fought and won in court back in 2016 based on zoning laws and state gambling regulations.
"They would never get the Legislature, the Senate and the governor to sign off on a new law to even allow them to start to do anything in Medford," says Jim Tooher, of the Medford Civic Assocation.
"It's time for change and for the town to step up and say no," says Maryann Johnston, of the Manor Park Civic Association. "Tell them take their application and shove it."