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St. Regis Mohawk Tribe doesn't support casino at Superfund site

Filed Under: New York
More on: exclusivity, mohawk, new york

An aerial view of the GM Massena Superfund site in New York. Photo by Dominic Tricase

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York doesn't support a proposed casino at a Superfund site adjacent to its reservation.

Local businessman Thomas G. Gramuglia wants to build a casino at the GM Massena Superfund site. The 270-acre property lies within the tribe's zone of exclusivity for Class III gaming.

“The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council does not support the proposal to develop a competing gaming operation on the former GM site in St. Lawrence County, within the tribe’s zone of exclusivity," the tribe said in a statement. "To our knowledge, this proposal does not have political support or legal basis."

The gaming floor at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort in New York. Photo from St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and Resort is less than 10 miles from the Massena site, according to Google Maps. The tribe believes another facility will harm its operation, which provides revenues for programs on the reservation.

"Discussion of gaming development on the former GM site would potentially jeopardize our investment in our established gaming operations, currently supporting over 200 tribal programs including healthcare, wellness, education, cultural enrichment, athletics and programs for our elders," the statement continued. "The tribe has not been consulted regarding this proposal, but would not support any development on the site that adversely impacts the priorities of the community of Akwesasne.”

The Watertown Daily Times also thinks the casino is a bad idea. The paper said it will infringe on the tribe's exclusivity and won't help the local economy.

"Is this the best way to revive a stagnant economy? Don’t bet on it," the paper said in an editorial today.

An Opinion:
Lousy odds: A proposed casino not a sound plan for Massena’s economy (The Watertown Daily Times 8/14)

Related Stories:
Businessman wants casino to benefit St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (8/11)

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