indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Mohawk tribe wins approval for Catskills casino
Monday, October 6, 2003

After more than two years of deliberations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is proposing to take land into trust for the first off-reservation casino in the Catskills region of New York.

In a Federal Register notice being published today, the BIA announces its intent to acquire 66 acres for the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. The land is located hundreds of miles away from the tribe's upstate reservation but only 90 minutes north of New York City.

The decision is a win for the tribe and its partner, Park Place Entertainment, the largest casino company in the world. The tribe had previously received approval during the Clinton administration for an off-reservation casino but at a different site in the Catskills and with a different gaming firm.

The only snag is that Aurene Martin, the BIA's principal deputy assistant secretary, is requiring a more stringent environmental impact statement to be completed before the decision is finalized in January 2004. In the notice, which was signed last Wednesday, she said a draft would be available by November 1.

Gov. George Pataki (R) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), strong proponents of the casino, had been urging the BIA to accept the tribe's environmental assessment. But in the notice, Martin said that changes to the project the need for additional review.

The tribe is looking at a 450,000-square-foot casino, a 2,000-seat theater and several restaurants. Plans for a 2,000-room hotel have been pared to 700 rooms. A parking structure would be built on 141 acres of land adjacent to the 66 acres the BIA will take into trust. Overall, the project is expected to cost $500 million.

The impetus for the casino was Pataki, who successfully lobbied for the biggest expansion of gaming in New York history. In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, state lawmakers passed legislation that authorized compacts for three casinos in the Catskills.

The Akwesasne Nation, also known as the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, is the first to gain approval for a casino there. The tribe submitted its land-into-trust application in March 2001, nearly a year after dropping Catskill Development, its former partner, and signed a compact with Pataki in May of this year.

The casino is supported by the local community, which hopes gaming will restore the economically-depressed region. The tribe is expected to pay a $15 million annual fee to the local county although tribal leaders have questioned the amount.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans, based in Wisconsin, has submitted a 333-acre land-into-trust application to the BIA for what it hopes will be the second Catskills facility. The tribe doesn't have a compact, and Pataki, along with other tribes in New York, say out-of-state tribes don't have gaming rights. The tribe's partner is Trading Cove Associates, the group that launched the Mohegan Tribe's casino in Connecticut.

The Cayuga Nation of New York is also in the game. The tribe submitted a 30-acre land-into-trust application and its partner is Empire Resorts.

The Seneca Nation, which already operates one off-reservation casino and is moving forward with a second, and the Oneida Nation are interested, but have not submitted any applications, according to news reports.

According to the BIA notice, the agency is accepting public comments on the 'scope and implementation" of the draft EIS. Issues to be address would include traffic, noise, water, wetlands, social and "cumulative effects" of the casino.

Public comments on the scope are due October 5 with a public hearing being held on Wednesday in Monticello in Sullivan County. The final EIS is expected to be published in January 2004 and will be followed by a 30-day public comment period. A "record of decision" is expected to be issued on or about March 1, 2004, the notice states.

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mohawk Mountain Resort and Casino, Sullivan County, NY | PDF

Related Stories:
Mohawk chiefs reworking land, gaming settlement (07/16)
New Mohawk chief wants to renegotiate $15M fee (06/24)
Run-off election for Mohawk chief settled (6/23)
N.Y. court invalidates Mohawk casino compact (6/13)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe schedules run-off (6/12)
Mohawk candidates want election held again (6/11)
Catskills weighs effects of Mohawk election (6/10)
Mohawk candidates critical of gaming deal elected (6/9)
Gaming an issue in Mohawk tribal election (6/6)
N.Y. court puts halt to tribal gaming deals (05/20)
DOJ disapproves of Mohawk land and gaming deal (5/15)
Mohawk tribe announces $100M deal with N.Y. (5/13)
Snag resolved in Mohawk land and gaming settlement (5/12)
Announcement of Mohawk land and gaming deal delayed (5/8)
N.Y. to finalize Mohawk land claim and gaming deal (5/7)
Mohawk chiefs accused of meddling (06/07)
Mohawk traditional chiefs affirmed (5/21)
Court strikes Mohawk gaming compact (5/3)
Mohawk members want own casino (4/4)
N.Y. court hears casino compact case (3/26)
BIA can't figure out court ruling (3/21)
Mohawk Tribe changing name (3/8)
Mohawk Tribe blasts 'Chief' editorial (3/5)
Inside the BIA, plenty of drama (3/4)
Ashcroft urged to charge BIA officials (3/1)
Mohawk deal could leave parties out (2/28)
Catskills land-into-trust filed (2/12)

Copyright 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes walk out of contract support cost meeting (8/29)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe spends $2.4M on property (8/29)
Mike Johanns: Retracing steps of great Ponca Chief Standing Bear (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: Racist mascot a sign of deeper problems in US (8/29)
Lauren Jones: Affordable Care Act benefits Native Americans too (8/29)
Gila River Indian Community to see $77.6M from Cobell buy-back (8/29)
Energy boom linked to rise in human trafficking in Indian Country (8/29)
Navajo man heads up Native American Homelessness Task Force (8/29)
9th Circuit hears case over Yakama Nation tobacco manufacturer (8/29)
WAER: ICWA matters handled in 'kangaroo courts' in South Dakota (8/29)
MPR: Red Lake Nation opposes liquor license near dry reservation (8/29)
Tule River Tribe helps remove marijuana operation on reservation (8/29)
Omaha Tribe signs agreement with EPA to improve utility services (8/29)
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe rejected 'gift' from NFL team's foundation (8/29)
KPLU: Spokane Tribe maintains close ties with baseball franchise (8/29)
Opinion: HUD loan program a small step to boost Indian housing (8/29)
DNA study finds distinct population of Native people in Arctic area (8/29)
Tribes closely watching Big Lagoon Rancheria casino land dispute (8/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation to build off-reservation casino in phases (8/29)
State questions Forest County Powatatomi Tribe's slot machines (8/29)
Quapaw Tribe eyes local support for commercial casino in Kansas (8/29)
Native Sun News: Police officers who shot Indian teen get medals (8/28)
Cara Cowan Watts: Laying the groundwork for college scholarship (8/28)
Rudolph Ryser: Indigenous nations need leverage to bring change (8/28)
DOI extends $100M in Cobell buy-back offers on two reservations (8/28)
Cobell buy-backs could return over 38K acres to tribe in Montana (8/28)
Five-year-old Navajo boy sent home from school for his long hair (8/28)
Three charged with murder for death of Mississippi Choctaw man (8/28)
Lummi Nation seeks cooperation after ruling in treaty rights case (8/28)
Artist Gregg Deal takes on Indian mascots for performance piece (8/28)
Sports announcer won't use Washington NFL team's name on air (8/28)
Recruiter from Spokane Tribe's college selected for Peirone Prize (8/28)
California tribes support release of water to benefit salmon runs (8/28)
Southern Ute Tribe invests $2B in big energy production system (8/28)
County hires lobbying firm to oppose federal recognition reforms (8/28)
Tohono O'odham Nation breaks ground for off-reservation casino (8/28)
Cherokee Nation starts construction on casino at Indian allotment (8/28)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe responds to opponents in casino suit (8/28)
Jamul Band continues work on $360M casino after victory in court (8/28)
Editorial: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe ups ante in casino feud (8/28)
Ho-Chunk Nation launches outreach effort amid casino expansion (8/28)
Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments over gaming initiative (8/28)
Tim Giago: Greedy lawyers and government ruin Cobell settlement (8/27)
Native Sun News: Facility in Montana set to house Indian inmates (8/27)
Gerald Gipp: National strategy needed to reform Indian education (8/27)
9th Circuit won't stop repatriation of Kumeyaay Nation ancestors (8/27)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts youth to work for summer (8/27)
Gabe Galanda: Academia won't tackle tribal disenrollment issue (8/27)
Misty Lynn Ellingburg: 'Four Winds' is a literary magazine for us (8/27)
Declination rates for Indian Country crime steady for third year (8/27)
DOJ awards grants to address violence in Bakken energy region (8/27)
Another pipeline spills saltwater on reservation in North Dakota (8/27)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (8/27)
Once rival factions of Chukchansi Tribe agree to 2015 election (8/27)
Three brothers on the ballot for Passamaquoddy Tribe election (8/27)
Daily Beast: Border Patrol runs free on Tohono O'odham Nation (8/27)
KTOO: Cook Inlet Tribe turns to video game to represent culture (8/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.