Patchogue's Cliffton bar under fire for placing bets on shootings in NYC, Chicago


Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director David Kennedy asked the owner of The Clifton, a Patchogue bar, to withdraw the “shooting” pool offered; that is, a point spread that shows the number of shootings that will occur in New York and Chicago over the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.  The chamber had received emails of protest over the nature of the pool; the images of the board and rules were posted on The Clifton’s public social media pages bragging: “Numbers are up early. Let the shooting sprees begin.”

“I did send the owner an official notice from the chamber asking him to cease and desist the very disgusting and disturbing betting pool. I told him I will be recommending he be removed from the chamber and I will be convening our chamber board this week and taking an official vote,” said Kennedy.

 “The State Liquor Authority has gone into every restaurant and bar in the village and that includes The Clifton, over the last couple of weeks conducting inspections,” said Mayor Paul Pontieri. “And in the case of The Clifton, I understand, they weren’t allowed entry. There are other bars with super bowl pools and they’ve been cited over the years. So this “pool” is run very similarly.”

 Gambling pools are illegal under the SLA’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. In a statement provided to the Advance, the SLA said the establishment received violations and would be following up again.

“This alleged gambling pool is not only sickening, but also appears illegal under the Alcoholic Beverage Control law. Unrelated to the allegations of illegal gambling, this establishment refused to allow investigators with the state's multi-agency task force to inspect the premises earlier this week -- a blatant violation of the law, which alone constitutes grounds for their liquor license to be revoked. This establishment will be charged for the violation we have already observed and can expect to hear from us again.”

According to the SLA, state law prohibits refusal from police, peace, or inspection officers, with possibly revocation of license as a penalty.

An email from the chamber was sent out on Monday to the chamber executive committee.  

Efforts to contact owner Brian Neal were unsuccessful at press time.

Last April, The Clifton posted a meme that put a transgender woman on blast. It resulted in a 100-person protest. Supporters of The Clifton did not agree with the taste of the post and reiterated it was a bad judgement call. Neal later apologized.


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