Suffolk OTB Casino Update
Despite local opposition from residents and town officials, Suffolk OTB is still making headlines across Long Island, moving forward with its casino proposal without the approval of local Suffolk County officials. The OTB is going to send their proposal directly to state lawmakers, bypassing Brookhaven Town. The Brookhaven and Medford Civic Associations filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court last week trying to block the proposal (and would like the Town of Brookhaven to join them). Their lawsuit claims that the proposal violates local zoning laws. The Town of Brookhaven plans on hiring Manhattan law firm Nixon Peabody LLP to issue an opinion whether the town has legal authority to stop OTB’s proposed plan. State law currently allows county OTB operators to construct facilities exempt from local town zoning laws.
The Suffolk OTB is tight on cash at the moment and they are planning on selling their Hauppauge headquarters for $2.4 million to raise cash. The Suffolk OTB is currently emerging from bankruptcy and hoping the Medford casino proposal, which will create 1,000 Video Lottery Terminals and 1,400 parking spaces, will help bring them out of bankruptcy. Suffolk County officials think that the casino would help close a $20 million county budget deficit. OTB supporters believe the casino will generate 500 new construction jobs and create up to 400 other jobs, which will help improve the local economy.
We will continue to monitor the Suffolk OTB’s casino proposal and keep you informed on the finalized outcome.