Salazar pushed to approve off-reservation casinos

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) wants Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to approve off-reservation casinos in New York.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, Band of Mohican Indians, sought approval to open casinos in the Catskills, about 90 minutes north of New York City. But the Bush administration said the gaming sites were too far from the tribes' existing reservations.

Salazar hasn't stated his views on off-reservation gaming but Schumer says there is an opportunity for change. “He is not shutting the door on it as of yet. He hasn’t really begun to get into it,” Schumer said, The Mid-Hudson News Network reported.

The Seneca Nation also wants to build a casino in the Catskills but will seek Congressional approval rather than go through the Interior Department.

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Schumer asks new Interior secretary to approve land in trust for casinos (The Mid-Hudson News Network 4/27)