Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel on Long Island is eager to start a $200 million expansion of the facility, the first in its history. But parent company Suffolk OTB says work won’t begin until legislation sitting in New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) office is signed.
The New York State Legislature earlier this year passed legislation that seeks to increase the maximum number of video lottery terminals (VLTs) that Jake’s 58 is permitted to house. The bill, if signed by Hochul, would raise the VLT cap from 1,000 to 2,000 machines.
VLTs saved Suffolk OTB nearly a decade ago when New York in 2013 passed legislation to allow off-track betting companies to incorporate the slot-like terminals into their operations. The bill resulted in Suffolk partnering with New York-based Delaware North to transform a former Marriott hotel in Islandia into a casino called Jake’s 58.
Jake’s 58 opened in February 2017 with VLTs. The video gaming machines have since brought Suffolk OTB out of bankruptcy and into prosperity. Suffolk officials are ready for the casino’s next chapter, but Hochul has yet to act on Assembly Bill 2210/Senate Bill 7685.
Suffolk OTB last year completed its acquisition of Jake’s 58 from Delaware North for $120 million. The purchase price included $40 million for the property’s physical assets. The remaining $80 million was to buy out Delaware North’s management contract, which was to run through 2067.
Though the Jake’s 58 Casino VLT regulatory expansion bill was passed by the New York State Legislature in June, the bill was only forwarded to Hochul this month.
When lawmakers decide to forward legislation after the state’s legislative session concludes, as was the case with the video lottery bill, the governor has 30 days from receipt to act. That’s considerably longer than the 10 days a governor has to act on a bill when the legislature is in session.
Another key difference regarding a governor fielding a bill while the legislature is adjourned is that no action by the state’s chief lawmaker essentially serves as a “pocket veto.” Contrary, a governor’s inaction when the legislature is in session simply allows the bill to become law.
Hochul’s office received the VLT measure on Dec. 16, meaning she has until 12:01 am EST on Saturday, Jan. 30 to sign the legislation.
If the governor does sign the VLT statute, as expected, Suffolk OTB says it will pump $200 million into expanding Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel. The project would include a 100,000-square-foot addition on vacant property that’s located in the rear of the current resort.
The expansion area would be used to increase the casino’s number of VLT gaming positions to nearly 2,000 machines. The new building space would also allow for new restaurants, a VIP gaming lounge, and a structured parking lot. A considerable portion of the $200 million budget would also be set aside to renovate each of the casino’s 227 guestrooms.
2023 Gaming Expansion
Hochul is expected to sign the VLT bill in early January to coincide with the state formally moving forward with its consideration of commercial casino gambling in the downstate region.
New York’s VLT bill in 2013 additionally legalized commercial casinos with Las Vegas-style slot machines and table games. The casino component of the gaming package only allowed commercial casinos upstate for the first 10 years following the bill’s signing.
The moratorium on downstate casinos expires next year. Three licenses are available for New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley.
Two of the concessions are likely spoken for, as Resorts World New York City in Queens and MGM Resorts’ Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway are heavily favored for two of the licenses. Both racinos are currently limited to operating VLT machines and electronic table games.
The post Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel on Long Island Ready to Begin $200M Expansion appeared first on Casino.org.