MEDFORD, NY — Suffolk Regional Off Track Betting (OTB) has proposed building a casino on a large area of vacant land along the Long Island Expressway in Medford.
This is the second time OTB has proposed a casino for the property at 440 Express Dr. S. The site previously housed a multiplex movie theater, which has since been demolished. More recently, the now-vacant land has been called “The Fairgrounds” and has served as the location for the annual Brookhaven Fair.
OTB first proposed a casino for the Medford property several years ago and then ultimately opened a casino inside the former Islandia Marriott, which was renamed Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino. Jake’s 58, also along the Long Island Expressway, is about 11 miles west of Medford.
The latest casino proposal became publically known when the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation (NYS DEC) posted a meeting notice on its website.
The meeting is known as a “Public Scoping Session” and will allow the public to review and comment on the “Draft Scope” of the Environmental Impact Statement.
The following are highlights of the proposed casino, as indicated on the NYS DEC meeting notice:
- Construction and operation of an Indoor Amusement Establishment with pari-mutuel off track betting and Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs)
- 160,516-square-foot building with a 31,816-square-foot mezzanine, making it 192,332 square feet total
- Sewage treatment plant to serve the site
- Three levels of subsurface parking containing 1,384 spaces beneath the building and an additional 963 outdoor/surface spaces around the building for 2,347 spaces total
- Access from Expressway Drive South (Long Island Expressway South Service Road)
- Emergency access from Long Island Avenue
- Property is 30.08 acres, including 22.96 acres zoned Commercial Recreation that will be developed and 7.124 acres that are zoned Residential A-1 which will not be developed as part of this project
Among the milestones the project needs is approval from the NYS Legislature for more video lottery terminals on Long Island.
NYS Assemblyman Doug Smith (R-Holbrook) told OnSachem he will oppose any video gaming for the proposed location.
“This year State legislation was proposed in June to add 1,000 new video gaming machines on Long Island. Many of my colleagues and I expressed serious concerns that the bill failed to mention where the machines would be installed. I am a strong supporter of construction jobs and economic development on Long Island, however, the people of our community neither need nor want a second casino to be built in Medford, when we already have Jake’s 58 down the road in Islandia.”
OnSachem has reached out to Suffolk OTB for comment but has not yet received a reply.
The NYS DEC Public Scoping Session will take place Monday, Dec. 9, beginning at 6 pm. at Ramada Plaza, 1730 North Ocean Avenue, Holtsville.
The meeting notice indicated the Draft Scope is available from the Patchogue-Medford Library, 54-60 East Main Street, Patchogue; the Suffolk Regional Off Track Betting Corporation, 425 Oser Avenue, Suite 2, Hauppauge; and online at www.suffolkotb.com. OnSachem tried to find the Draft Scope on www.suffolkotb.com but has been successfully to locate the document. OnSachem has reached out to Suffolk OTB to find where the document is available online and, as of publication, has not heard back. OnSachem will update this page with a direct link to the document once the link is made known.