New York governor to approve new tribal casino

The New York Times reports that NY Governor Paterson is about to sign off on an Indian-owned casino project in the Catskills. This would be the state’s first full-fledged casino in close proximity to New York City, about 90 miles from New York City.

The proposed agreement, though, is with the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe in Wisconsin. This tribe traces its roots to New York and has been pursuing a casino there for years.

The paper claims this development “comes as a major surprise late in Mr. Paterson’s administration” because recent discussions about casinos have focused on tribes based in New York, particularly the Shinnecock tribe in the Hamptons.

Sullivan County New York hailed the news, but one New York tribe, the Oneida, reacted with dismay.

The casino would require federal approval but state and local officials are confident they have already cleared most of the hurdles. As part of an agreement with the state, the tribe will settle a land claim suit in Madison County in central New York, and receive an acre of land as part of the settlement, a person with knowledge of the arrangement said.

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