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Suffolk OTB awaits ruling on Medford gaming parlor suit

Judge Jerry Garguilo listens to testimony during a

Judge Jerry Garguilo listens to testimony during a hearing at State Supreme Court in Riverhead on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. Opponents of a proposed video-lottery casino in Medford have filed a lawsuit against the Suffolk OTB, claiming the casino would violate Brookhaven Town zoning laws. Credit: Randee Daddona

Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has submitted plans for a Medford electronic gambling parlor to the Town of Brookhaven, while supporters and opponents await a state judge’s decision on a lawsuit to stop the casino.

The sports betting operation is relying on the 1,000 terminals at a former Brookhaven Multiplex site off Exit 64 on the Long Island Expressway to emerge from bankruptcy.

A lawsuit challenging the 90,050-square-foot parlor was heard in Riverhead on Dec. 9 by Judge Jerry Garguilo. The Medford Taxpayers and Civic Association and the town’s Conservative Party sued to stop the project, saying the casino doesn’t conform to the zoning at the proposed site and would cause traffic problems, and result in more crime and excessive drinking.

Suffolk OTB submitted a site plan to Brookhaven after a federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 30 ordered the county and town to accept and review plans for the facility. Suffolk OTB is making revisions after Brookhaven staff reviewed and made comments on the initial plan, town attorney Annette Eaderesto said Tuesday.

After Suffolk OTB completes its environmental review and submits a final plan, it will be forwarded to the Suffolk Planning Commission. The site plan will then go to the Brookhaven Planning Board for approval.

Suffolk OTB President Phil Nolan said it is accepting public comments on its environmental report through early January.

Nolan said Nassau’s selection of Belmont for its electronic gambling parlor “doesn’t hurt us. It is as far away from our facility and county as possible. So our facility will clearly be more convenient for our residents to patronize.”

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