Jake's 58 Casino Hotel has been planning to expand its gaming property on Long Island for a while. It recently revealed that it is set to kick off the $200 million expansion project. But, Suffolk OTB, the casino hotel's parent company, says that the project won't start until New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) signs pending legislation.
The state's Legislature passed a bill early this year that intends to increase Jake's 58 Casino's maximum number of video lottery terminals (VLTs) that it can accommodate. The figure will increase from 1,000 to 2,000 machines once Hochul signs the bill.
Suffolk OTB greatly benefited from VLTs in 2013 when New York created a law that allowed off-track gambling firms to add slot-like terminals in their operations. The new legislation prompted Suffolk to collaborate with Delaware North to change the former Islandia Marriott hotel into a casino that they called Jake's 58.
The casino launched in February 2017 offering VLTs. Still, the machines have brought Suffolk from bankruptcy, and its officials have accepted the casino's forthcoming transformation. Besides, Hochul hasn't acted on Assembly Bill 2210/Senate Bill 7685.
Suffolk OTB bought Jake's 58 Casino Hotel in 2021 for $120 million from Delaware North. The price constituted $40 million for its physical assets and $80 to buy Delaware North's management contract that will expire in 2067.
More Details About the Governor's Delay
The bill was presented to Hochul a few days ago, even though the New York State Legislature passed it in June. The law requires the governor to act on a bill 30 days after receiving it. The state's legislative session has to end first for lawmakers to forward legislation.
This exceeds the ten days that a governor should act on a bill while the legislature is in session. Still, none of the state's key lawmaker serves as a "pocket veto" after the legislature adjourns. The bill becomes law if the governor fails to act when the legislature is in session.
Hochul has up to January 30, 2023, 12:01 a.m. EST to sign the bill since her office received it on December 16, 2022. Suffolk OTB will invest $200 million in Jake's Casino Hotel after Hochul signs the VLT law.
The project includes an extra 100,000 square feet near the existing resort's rear. The increased space will accommodate a VIP gaming lounge, a parking lot, and new restaurants. Part of the project's budget will upgrade the property's 227 guestrooms.
Gaming Expansion in New York in 2023
Hochul's expected signing of the VLT bill will coincide with New York's move to allow commercial casino betting in the downstate area. The 2013 VLT bill allowed casinos that offer Las Vegas-style table games and slot machines.
The gaming package's casino component allowed casinos upstate in the first decade after the new bill passed. But downstate casinos' moratorium will expire after several months. There are three gaming licenses for the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City.
Empire City Casino and Resorts World New York City are likely to get two licenses. But, the law restricts them to providing electronic table games and running VLT machines.