Jake’s 58 Casino Expansion Approved Despite Concerns

Posted on: August 3, 2023, 07:43h. 

Last updated on: August 3, 2023, 09:47h.

Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel on New York’s Long Island has been approved to embark on a $200 million expansion and renovation project of the Islandia gaming complex.

Jake's 58 Casino Hotel Long Island Islandia
Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman mulls the expansion and renovation blueprint for Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel. The Long Island racino has been cleared to begin its $200 million project. (Image: Newsday)

The Islandia Village Board voted unanimously 5-0 in favor of authorizing Jake’s to undergo its first major overhaul since it opened in May 2017. Jake’s is owned and operated by Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (Suffolk OTB).

The development will add about 110,000 square feet to the former Marriott hotel turned racino. The expansion will allow Jake’s to double its number of slot-like video lottery terminals (VLT) from 1,000 to 2,000 seats.

The additional space will also allow more restaurants, including upscale dining options. A new three-story parking garage is also in the plans, as is an 800-foot-long, 10-foot-high sound barrier to help alleviate noise complaints from neighbors residing just east of the racino property on Dawson Court.

Concerns Overridden

Not everyone in attendance during Wednesday night’s Islandia Village Board meeting expressed support for Jake’s 58 expansion.

Rich Meyer, a nearby resident, said he wished the project would have been denied. That opinion was shared by Pamela Brenner-Davis, who leads the local Problem Gambling Resource Center in Uniondale. Brenner-Davis said her office will expect an increase in calls once the new Jake’s opens with twice as many gambling machines as it currently offers.

Whenever there are increased opportunities [to gamble], there are increased problems,” Brenner-Davis told Newsday. “We are consistently, throughout the state, growing our programs. We are seeing a trend up in people having problems.”

Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman raised concerns about the proposed elevated pedestrian crosswalks included in the parking plans and whether more speed bumps should be installed across the property. Dorman conceded that those concerns shouldn’t delay the project.

Suffolk OTB President Phil Boyle pledged to do everything in the company’s power to make sure the expansion and renovation satisfies the community and addresses all concerns.

“We want everything to be effective and efficient for our customers and our neighbors,” Boyle told the local government.

Resort Amenities

When Suffolk and its then-partner Delaware North acquired the Marriott Islandia hotel, the partners opted to remove the hotel’s indoor swimming pool and conference rooms to make more space for gaming. With the property now significantly expanding its footprint, Jake’s plans to incorporate a new indoor pool and meeting capabilities.

All 210 guestrooms are also set for a refresh. Little has been done to the occupancies since they were part of the Marriott brand. The rooms are dated though online reviews highlight their cleanliness. Google reviews also commend the hotel’s service, ease of parking, and property safety.

Construction is set to begin in November and take about two years to complete.

What’s in a Name?

Jake’s 58 is named after Louis Jacobs, the late patriarch of the Delaware North family conglomerate. Jacobs, a prominent New York businessman, founded Delaware North in 1915 when he was just 15 years old. The company was called Emprise Corp. and Sportsystems Inc. before adopting the Delaware North identity in 1980.

Along with his hospitality management and gaming empire, Jacobs owned the Cincinnati Royals of the National Basketball League and the Buffalo Bisons and Providence Reds of the American Hockey League.

As for the “58” in Jake’s 58, the number refers to the exit number where the casino is located off of the Long Island Expressway.