ISLANDIA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The new casino on Long Island appears to be on a roll with cash pouring in, but so are the parking complaints from some neighbors who filed a lawsuit.
Tony Carroll is a homeowner in Islandia where Suffolk’s controversial OTB video lottery casino opened three months ago.
“Now that they have expanded, they have table to play roulette. That is what interests me,” he told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Jake’s 58 Casino has hit the jackpot, growing from 265 to 1,000 machines including roulette, blackjack, craps, and baccarat.
It has multiple levels, and restaurants, and has been sprucing up its hotel rooms. The casino is open for business from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m.
“It’s scary to just have people walking around on your street. I don’t like that. We’re on a dead end,” Sheryl Smith said.
“We’ve had people come up here and try to park here. Somebody was going to walk through the woods to get to it,” Ken Smith added.
The Smiths are among those still fighting the casino. They’re worried about traffic, property value, and quality of life.
Opponents sued the village for improperly approving the facility. A decision is expected soon.
“I can only hope the judge will follow the law and not be swayed by the amount of money that’s been invested, the politics of OTB,” attorney Paul Sabatino said.
Casino managers expect to be there for the long haul, and said they have gone out of their way to be good neighbors.
They’ve installed fencing, increased parking to hold 600 cars, employ patrolling security, and have received no complaints of crime.
“Friendly staff, the service that they get, they like the fact it’s clean, close to home. They feel safe,” manager Chuck Kilroy said.
The mayor said the village will have parking meters covering 113 stalls, fully operation on the streets directly adjacent to Jake’s 58 parking lot to absorb any spillover.
The casino struck a deal with Islandia to pay the village millions — now upgrading a park down the street from Carroll’s home.
So, are residents expecting to see a drop in property taxes?
“That’s supposed to be the deal, we’ll see,” Carroll said.
The Carrolls are betting and hoping the village will be able to cut taxes and expand services.
The casino has agreed to pay Islandia $47-million over 20 years, and pay Suffolk County $13-million over 10 years.