New York | Regulation

Shinnecock Nation gaming partner cut $250K monthly payment

The flag of the Shinnecock Nation. Photo from SN

The Shinnecock Nation of New York was receiving a $250,000 a month from its gaming partner but the relationship has soured and tribal members don't know what's going on.

The tribe partnered with Gateway Casino Resorts of Michigan to pursue gaming. The monthly payments stopped in late 2012, The Southampton Press reported, amid internal disagreements about the firm's involvement.

A few months later, in May 2013, the FBI raided the tribe's gaming authority. Then, in November 2013, someone set fire to the trailer that housed the agency, a crime that remains unsolved.

With gaming plans up in the air, tribal members voted earlier this month to dissolve the gaming body. Five commissioners had each been receiving a $60,000 annual salary, the Press reported.

“A lot of people are wondering about some of the things the Gaming Authority was doing and why the FBI seized their papers,” a tribal member told the paper. “They didn’t trust them anymore, and nobody is sure where the casino is going right now, and it was just better to get rid of the Gaming Authority.”

The tribe at one point wanted to open three gaming facilities on and near its reservation on Long Island. Gateway still holds the development rights, the Press reported.

Some tribal members are reportedly talking to the Seminole Tribe -- which owns the Hard Rock brand -- about a partnership. The Seminoles have not confirmed any arrangements.

Regardless of its plans, the tribe faces intense competition for patrons due to the presence of Resorts World New York in New York City. The non-Indian casino is the highest-grossing gaming facility in the U.S. and is a closer drive for many Long Island residents.

New York has authorized seven non-Indian facilities in other regions of the state. But it's possible Long Island could be considered sometime in the future.

Get the Story:
Shinnecock Indian Nation Disbands Tribal Gaming Authority (The Southampton Press 10/1)

Also Today:
Daniel Raichel's Blog: A Casino in a Forest? Why One New York Gaming Proposal Should Be Rejected (Switchboard / National Resource Defense Council 10/1)

Related Stories:
Authorities probe blaze at Shinnecock Nation's gaming trailer (11/01)