Shinnecock Nation Trying to Enter New York Market

The Shinnecock Indian Nation has been working to establish a casino since 2007, but they have had very little success up to this point. That could change in the coming months as a new partnership will give them new opportunities.

Shinnecock Nation recently announced a partnership with Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment out of Florida, along with Tri-State Partners. Tri-State Partners is a casino developer, and they will begin looking for a place to build a brand new casino.

This tribal group underwent a 30-year fight to gain federal recognition, but that was finally granted in 2010. The Shinnecock Nation eventually had to sue the US Department of the Interior for them to earn this recognition.

This new partnership aims to build and operate a casino near New York City, and that could become one of the biggest operations in the United States. All three groups in this new partnership would have plenty to gain if a New York City casino became a real possibility.

The tribal council for Shinnecock Nation is asking the public for support as it will likely take some new laws and regulations to be passed before a casino is built. New York City has been longing for a casino, but it’s unclear if it will happen at this time.

Hamptons Not a Logical Location

The Shinnecock Nation has a small reservation in New York, and it is located near the Hamptons entrance. This is a popular vacation spot for some of the elite residents of the state, and would not be an ideal location for a casino.

The Shinnecock Nation already has the power to offer Class II gaming on their reservation, including bingo and video gaming. If they were able to negotiate a gaming compact with the state, then they could be granted a Class III gaming license.

If the tribal group could find some land on their reservation to build a casino, it would be the first in the New York metropolitan area. There are only a few small gaming operations near New York City, but these properties have done well.

The Shinnecock Nation knows that any attempts to build a new casino near the Hamptons would be met by legal resistance as it would affect the scenic atmosphere of that location. If the tribal group could offer Class III gaming in the state, it would likely be at a completely new location.

Downstate New York Needs More Gaming

The entire gaming industry in New York is extremely limited, and it has everything to do with location. All of the casinos and other gaming properties are located in upstate New York, limiting the number of customers that frequent these properties.

There are four commercial casinos and eight tribal casinos located in upstate New York, but a downstate New York facility has yet to emerge. Casino gambling was legalized in 2013 when voters throughout the state passed a referendum to expand gaming laws.

The 12 casinos were all opened by the end of 2017, but these properties have seen minimal success. They have failed to attract customers from New York City as most of these bettors prefer to travel across state borders.

New York state has recently commissioned a study to analyze the potential economic benefits of a casino being built in New York City. Operators from around the country would be lining up for a shot to own that gaming license.

The New York State Gaming Commission will wait for the results of this study before they take any further action.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.