indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe blasts Trump claim of 'constant contact' (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe calls out Trump 'lies' on Dakota Access (2/24)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge residents worried about water (2/24)
Editorial: Shutting down Whiteclay won't address our addictions (2/24)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Indigenous people still struggle in America (2/24)
Steve Russell: To all the indigenous writers being born out there (2/24)
Connecticut tribes plan to announce site for potential new casino (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe slams Trump for lack of consultation (2/23)
Native Sun News Today: Tribes asked to participate in 'land grab' (2/23)
Mark Trahant: A victory on Indian health from Washington state (2/23)
James Giago Davies: We've become too proud of our ignorance (2/23)
Cronkite News: Plant closure impacts Hopi and Navajo workers (2/23)
Peter d'Errico: Book is yet another in series of genocide deniers (2/23)
Tanya Lee: Republicans run amok as America focuses on Trump (2/23)
Radio show host in Montana calls Indian basketball fans 'unruly' (2/23)
Congressman who was advocate for Indian Country passes on (2/23)
Yakama Nation debuts hotel as part of $90M casino expansion (2/23)
Meskwaki Tribe ordered to pay damages for incident at casino (2/23)
Indian Country joins legal push to block Dakota Access Pipeline (2/22)
Dakota Access offers up March 6 as earliest date for completion (2/22)
Trump administration opposes injunction against Dakota Access (2/22)
Trump team puts hold on pro-tribal Dakota Access legal opinion (2/22)
Arne Vainio: Finding some medicine in the woods and by the fire (2/22)
Wyoming tribes lose major ruling in reservation boundary case (2/22)
Native Sun News Today: #NoDAPL campsites see their final days (2/22)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Dakota Access is everything wrong with US (2/22)
United Keetoowah Band interested in pursuing casino in Georgia (2/22)
Kalispel Tribe announces $20M casino expansion in Washington (2/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs still failing on online security measures (2/21)
Mary Annette Pember: Indigenous people can't ever back down (2/21)
Harold Monteau: Democrats to blame for President Donald Trump (2/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation leaders share concerns about border wall (2/21)
Pacific Northwest tribes finally rebury remains of Kennewick Man (2/21)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe affirms election results after recount (2/21)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe hopes to see return of casino business (2/21)
Bureau of Indian Affairs confirms Wilton Rancheria casino in trust (2/21)
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.