New York casino avoids local residents’ lawsuit
By Bob Garcia
Jake’s 58 casino continues to deliver significant revenue and won’t have to stop
A number of Islandia residents were seeking to shut down the operations of Jake’s 58 casino through a lawsuit. However, it appears to have been unsuccessful after a federal judge recently dismissed those efforts.
Central Islip District Court Judge Joan M. Azrack early last week upheld a 2018 federal bankruptcy court decision that recommended dismissing the casino opponents’ lawsuit challenging the Village of Islandia decision to approve the Suffolk OTB gaming floor. The residents’ arguments were roundly rejected by Azrack. They pointed out that the Islandia Village board employed “spot zoning” illegally in its initial approval of the casino just over five years ago, in addition to a subsequent 2017 zoning change allowing hotel-casinos in commercial and industrial zones.
Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Gaming Corporation spokeswoman Jon Schneider said via a statement that OTB officials “were always confident that the village handled our approval correctly and we’re very happy to see this matter resolved and behind us.”
On the other hand, Islandia Major Allan M. Dorman said, “From the outset of this litigation, the village was confident that it would prevail in this matter. We are pleased with the court’s decision.”
Clearly, the casinos’ opponents were quite disappointed with the decision, with Paul Sabatino, who represented them, saying he disagrees and that the decision does not appear to be fair. Still, they do not intend to sit idly by, and Sabatino said he will meet again with his clients to decide whether Asrack’s decision will go to the appeals court.