FROM THE ARCHIVE
Cayuga Nation no longer adverse to gambling
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MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2003

The Cayuga Nation of New York will ask the Bureau of Indian Affairs to take land into trust for an off-reservation casino, The New York Times reports.

The tribe, long an opponent to gambling, wants to take ownership of a racetrack in the Catskills region of New York, where state law has authorized up to three Indian casinos. Clint Halftown, a Cayuga leader, describes the transformation in The New York Times.

"The Cayuga people have been landless and in economic distress for over 200 years," he said. "Our people need housing, education, medical care and the means to keep links to our culture and land. A casino would bring economic life back to Sullivan County as well as our nation."

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe has already filed for another casino, although a BIA official says "approval is not imminent." The Oneida Nation and the Stockbridge Munsee-Mohican Band of Wisconsin are considered contenders for the third.

The tribes have to gain off-reservation approval from the BIA. The "two-part determination" requires concurrence from the state governor. State law passed in late 2001 authorizes Gov. George Pataki (R) to approve the casinos.

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