Friday, July 31, 2009

BIA Chief To Visit New York Site Targeted For Indian Casinos

Feather News

About 90 miles northeast of the Mohegan's Pennsylvania slot parlor is the New York Catskill Mountain range, a site where three Indian tribes have been seeking to build Indian casinos.

Two of the three tribes seeking to build a casino in the Catskills have received rejection letters from the federal government but the new head of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs intends to visit the Catskill region in August prompting speculation that the tribes could eventually get a more favorable response to their casino plans.

One of the tribes, the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans, planned to develop and manage a casino in conjunction with the principles of Trading Cove Associates, the Mohegan Tribe's former casino managers. That plan was rejected in early 2008, when the Department of the Interior said their off-reservation casino proposal was too far from their reservation. The reservation for the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans is in Wisconsin, after they left New York in the early 1800's.

The other two tribes are the St. Regis Mohawks and the Senecas Tribe, both of New York.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been a strong advocate for Indian gaming in the Catskills region. Currently, only the Monticello Gaming & Raceway in the Catskills has slot machines.

New York's Governor supported legislation for up to five tribal casinos in the Catskills region between 2001 and 2005.