Islandia officials said Friday that they plan to appeal a state Supreme Court justice’s ruling that the village acted improperly when it granted a permit for the Suffolk OTB video-lottery casino at Jake’s 58 hotel.
Village Attorney Joseph W. Prokop said in an email that officials believed they did nothing wrong last year when they approved the 1,000-terminal casino as an “accessory use” at the hotel, on the North Service Road of the Long Island Expressway.
“The village used all proper procedures in approving Delaware North’s application for an electronic gaming facility,” Prokop said, referring to the casino’s Buffalo-based operator. “It is confident its position will prevail upon appeal.”
Opponents of the casino had sued the village last year over the permit and other issues.
State Supreme Court Justice William G. Ford, in a decision dated Sept. 8, said the permit should not have been granted because village and Delaware North officials had failed to show that a casino is “customarily incidental” to the operation of a hotel.
He said “no such finding is possible” because no other Long Island hotels have casinos.
The casino remains open pending the village’s appeal. Ford scheduled an Oct. 5 conference with lawyers for the village and casino opponents.
In a statement Friday, Delaware North officials said they were “confident the matter will be resolved in the long term. In the meantime, the gaming venue is allowed to operate and will continue to do so as it has with great success since February.”
Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. officials have said the casino would help the bankrupt agency pay off about $15 million in debt. The casino helped save 200 Suffolk OTB jobs, they have said.
Suffolk OTB president Phil Nolan declined to comment on Ford’s decision.
Islandia resident Jennifer Tomasino, one of the plaintiffs, said in a text message that she was “very pleased” with Ford’s decision, adding that she and other litigants “know that the fight is not over. We have an overwhelming amount of support and will continue to fight.”