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Islandia officials cancel vote on opening OTB casino in village

The Islandia Marriott Hotel is being considered for

The Islandia Marriott Hotel is being considered for a video lottery terminal casino. Above, a view of the hotel on Thursday, June 23, 2016. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Islandia officials have canceled a meeting Tuesday at which they were to vote on a controversial Suffolk OTB plan to open a mini-casino in the village.

The cancellation was announced on the village website without providing an explanation or more detail.

The village board’s next meeting is July 26. The website did not indicate when the board plans to vote on the casino proposal.

Delaware North, the Buffalo entertainment company developing the casino for Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., is requesting a special permit to build the casino at the Islandia Marriott Long Island hotel on the Long Island Expressway north service road.

Islandia Mayor Allan M. Dorman said during a public hearing last Tuesday that revenue from the casino’s 1,000 video lottery terminals and OTB racing simulcasts would help reduce property taxes for village residents.

But most of the dozens of speakers at the hearing opposed the casino, saying it could bring crime, increased traffic and other problems to the village.

Delaware North plans to buy the hotel and lease space for the casino to OTB.

Opposition has come from Islandia residents, and civic and homeowners associations in Hauppauge and Ronkonkoma. Hauppauge school district officials also have expressed opposition, citing possible loss of tax revenue if the casino eventually is owned by Suffolk OTB, which is exempt from property taxes.

In addition to Dorman, some Islandia residents favor the casino because it would cut taxes and create jobs.

Delaware North officials have said the 30,000-square-foot betting parlor would create more than 200 jobs.

“We respect the village board’s process and its need for sufficient time to review information about our proposal,” company officials said in a statement Sunday by Glen White, senior manager for corporate communications.

OTB officials have said the casino is key to their plans to help the struggling agency escape bankruptcy.


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