GAMBLING IS BACK ON THE TABLE
Note: New information is presented as it becomes available. Entries run from newest to oldest content.
Cuomo casino plan released 5-10-2013
Nevele owner shares vision of resort 4-12-2013
Concord project nears groundbreaking 1-22-2013
Sullivan casino a Bonacic priority 1-16-2012
Push to legalize casinos 12-08-2011
Cuomo casino gambling plan short on details 12-06-2011
Nevele resort pitched to investors 10-4-2011
Crapping Out in New York 9-22-2011
Albany's casino stance unclear 7-16-2011
Tribes, developers attend casino summit in Sullivan 7-7-2011
Cellini calls casino summit 6-29-2011
New casino policy: 'Game-changer' 6-16-2011 6-16-2011 6-16-2011 6-16-2011 6-16-2011 6-16-2011
Casino advocates hopeful 6-15-2011
Plenty at stake in this racino war 6-13-2011
Department of Interior Kills Casino Deal 2-19-2011
Feds turn down Stockbridge application 2-18-2011
NY committee hears casino arguments 2-4-2011
The last of the Mohicans 1-17-2011
Racinos oppose Sullivan County casino 1-13-2011
Horse racing officials oppose Catskills casino plan December 17, 2010
Unimpressed with Recent Settlement Announcement December 7, 2010
Native American Casinos - Govt. monopolies December 7,2010
Catskills casino could infringe on Aqueduct December 2, 2010
Government watchdogs raised concerns about NY casino: December 1. 2010
Oneidas vow to fight Catskills casino Published: Friday, November 26, 2010,
8:01 AM Updated: Friday, November 26, 2010, 10:55 AM
Gov backs $100M racino video gambling expansion-Times Herald Record November 24, 2010
GOVERNOR SETTLES WITH STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE - Novermber 22, 2010 Update On Settlement opening the way to Gaming in the Sullivan County, NY Catskills.INDIANS
UPDATE: NOVEMBER 17, 2010-- A Deal to Build a Casino in the Catskills Draws Ire By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE--Published: November 17, 2010 ****************************************************************************************************
From Times-Herald Record
March 04, 2010 - 12:17 PM
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The expansion of gambling in New York has hit a bad luck streak.
The recession has interrupted more than $900 million in construction work on a Seneca Indian casino in Buffalo and a gambling-themed resort in the Catskills. New York officials have yet to persuade federal officials to reverse a Bush administration ruling that has blocked the long-planned debut of Indian casinos in the Catskills. And a contract to introduce video lottery terminals to Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens appears shaky amid an investigation into how it was awarded.
All of these projects would bring money to a state starving for revenue, whether from the $300 million Aqueduct franchise fee or a cut of revenue from new and bigger gambling operations. It's unclear how long they'll be in limbo.
February 8, 2010by John Kavaller-Realtor and Licensed NYS Agent
Gambling has been on and off the table here in the Sullivan County, NY Catskills for many a year. Our area is well situated for gaming, a point the players in casino development well understand.
The Catskills are closer to the NYC Metro Area than Atlantic City, Foxwoods, and the Mohegan Sun. There is just a vast pool of customers from which to draw and we’re just a couple of hours from Manhattan. Gaming makes sense, except it’s never materialized
The hotel industry, in its heyday here in the mountains, floated the idea on numerous occasions. Off reservation Indian Tribes have made deals, canceled deals, re-instated deals. New York State has been supportive of the gambling agenda at times, while other times, the political climate ran in the opposite direction.
Perhaps the most difficult hurdles to overcome were the federal and state legal requirements that would allow legalized gambling in New York State. Even those issues seemed to be overcome within the last several years only to be killed by Mr. Kempthorne, former Bureau of Indian Affairs ruled Off-Reservations Tribes did not qualify for gambling venues outside specific reservation lands.
Posted: February 10, 2008 - 2:00 AM: See Side Bar: Article quote highlighted.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Jan. 4 rejected 11 applications for off-reservation casinos, including the St. Regis Mohawk proposal at the Monticello Gaming & Raceway and the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohicans project in Bridgeville. Nine other tribes were notified that their applications were incomplete.
On what basis?
The Interior Department adopted the policy of "commutable distance," denying the casinos because the tribal members could not commute from the reservation to the site of the casino, in the Mohawk's case 350 miles away. This clarifies Interior's longstanding regulation to grant more scrutiny to land into trust applications proportional to the distance from the reservation. Marking another shift in policy, Interior issued a blanket rejection of the 11 projects based on this rule, having previously notifying the tribes that each project would be evaluated on the individual merits. As to the Mohawk project, Interior ignored state and local support.
The gaming issue has had a torturous route—at times so close to actual approval, developers, architects, and serious plans were presented to the formal political machinery of Sullivan County.
Actual tribe negotiations took place, planning and zoning boards reviewed site details. Yes, we almost had the opportunity to tap into a vast entertainment market perfect for our County—at least, that’s what gambling proponents claimed.
A wealth of relevant information exists on-line. Suffice it to say, I’ve opened up this topic because, yet again, gaming in The Catskills is heating up.
Why Gambling is BACK ON THE TABLE IN THE SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY CATSKILLS-See Article Below.
Sullivan County Democrat--February 2, 2010
Mohawks give nod to Catskills casino
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini said he’d be willing to work with the St. Regis Mohawks on a local casino if they ever changed their minds.
On Saturday, they did.
Though results have yet to be officially certified, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council announced on Sunday that 538 tribal members voted to approve pursuing an off-reservation casino in the Catskills.
Those against totalled 371, with 27 ballots voided.
Saturday’s vote was a major reversal of a November vote on the exact same issue, which generated 178 “no” votes compared to 140 “yes” votes.
“I think they realized how important it is to their tribe,” Cellini mused yesterday. “It’s as important to them as it is to us.”
The tribal council’s public information director, David Staddon, said heavy campaigning, both for and against, preceded Saturday’s vote, which in part led to the large turnout.
“It’s certainly a healthy reflection of the governmental process in the community,” he explained.
He hadn’t heard of any challenges to the vote as of yesterday, and in five days, the results will be certified.
This latest approval could put the Mohawks back on track with Empire Resorts to construct and operate a casino on the grounds of Monticello Raceway, but Staddon said no formal discussions have been held.
The Mohawks are not tied to anyone currently, though Staddon acknowledged that Empire remains the top choice, especially with its land and recent capital investment from a major Asian conglomerate.
“They seem to be the most likely candidates,” he affirmed.
Staddon, however, added that the design of a Catskills casino has been scaled back from initial projects of $500-$600 million.
“The property, at least initially, is not going to be in that kind of price range,” he said, pointing out the economic struggles of similar Indian-owned casinos like Foxwoods in Connecticut.
Instead, the Mohawks now plan to build in phases, said Staddon.
But there’s a larger hurdle than construction: the U.S. Department of the Interior has yet to change the Bush Administration’s stance that gaming at locations far away from tribal reservations is not permissible.
Federal officials have indicated for months that current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is considering reversing that ruling, but as of press time yesterday, no change has been made.
And until that happens, tribes like the Mohawks, Senecas and Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans – all of whom have an interest in building casinos around Monticello, even though their reservations are hundreds of miles away – cannot move forward.
“We’re Indians,” Staddon quipped. “We’re used to slow promises.”
By Mid-Hudson News Network: 01-17-2010
BETHEL — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told local business and community leaders on Friday that she supports the creation of Indian-run casinos in Sullivan County and said she has asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reverse a decision handed down by the Bush administration that such casinos be forbidden on off-reservation land.
“They serve as an economic generator for a region,” said Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “I have seen this work very productively in other parts of the state.”
She cited, specifically, the Indian-run Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y., between Syracuse and Utica, calling it “a very beautiful facility.”
Gillibrand said Turning Stone “has become a magnet for visitors, for tourism and for economic growth because it is combined with a beautiful hotel, a concert hall and shops and restaurants.
Nearly a decade ago, the state Legislature and then-Gov. George Pataki approved a measure under which a total of three Indian-run casinos could be created in Ulster and Sullivan counties. Several proposals have surfaced since, but, to date, no casino has been built.
Gillibrand’s visit to Sullivan County brought to near-completion her promise to visit all 62 counties in New York by the end of her first year in office. She planned to finish the tour this weekend with visits to Chenango, Tioga and Washington counties.
Gillibrand, who lives in the Columbia County town of Greenport, was appointed to the Senate in late January 2009 to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had been chosen to serve as U.S. secretary of state. Gillibrand previously served in the House, representing New York’s 20th Congressional District, which stretches from Northern Dutchess to the Adirondacks.