The Shinnecock Indian Nation is a tribe located in Southampton that has been trying for quite some time to open a casino in New York. They look at gaming as a way to advance their tribal economy with employment and revenue development. The plans have been ongoing for about a decade and now, they may actually come to fruition. The tribe announced late last week a deal with Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment and Tri-State Partners to create a new casino development.
The tribe has been approved by the United States National Indian Gaming Commission for a gaming ordinance. This took place during the summer months and outlines the gaming initiatives of the tribe, including the structure of services, rules and objectives.
The Shinnecock Nation was first recognized federally in 2010 and has the ability to operate a Class II gaming facility. This includes bingo gaming and video terminals. The facility must be located on tribal land.
The tribe was also approved to offer Class III gaming. This involves more casino style options like table games. The location of such a facility must also be on tribal land or land that has taken into trust for the tribe that is located off-site. To offer this type, the tribe would have to negotiate a compact with the state.
Working with Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment
A statement was released via Newsday on the new deal between the tribe and the Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment group. The joint venture includes developer Tri-State Partners and will see a world-class entertainment destination created. The new partnership should create hundreds of jobs for the state as well as the tribe. It will also bring in revenues for both.
In the past, the tribe was working with Gateway Casino Resorts, of Michigan. They had plans to create a casino, even more than one venue, in Queens or Calverton. However, the effort failed to gain any ground. The group had also looked at property in Hampton Bays but the undeveloped site will most likely not become a spot for casino gaming.
In 2013, the state approved a constitutional amendment that would expand casino gaming. This took place at a time when a study was being done to determine the economic feasibility and impact that casinos downstate would have.
Several facility were already approved and have been operating for quite some time upstate. This includes Resort’s World Casino in Queens and Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia. These facilities provided video slots and electronic table games, which is considered Class II options. There is not a Class III facility offered downstate yet.
It will be interesting to see if the new partnership with the Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment group will be the one to see the tribe finally get a casino off the ground and operational. They have tried for so long and this might just the be partnership and right time to get their plans in motion. It will most likely still be quite some time before a venue would be constructed, if the deal pans out.