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New York passes over tribes for first commercial casino licenses

Filed Under: New York
More on: catskills, chicksaw, connecticut, exclusivity, hard rock, mohegan, new york, oneida, seminole, seneca

The three regions where the first casino licenses will be awarded are shown in this map from the New York Gaming Facility Location Board.

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board recommended three finalists for the first commercial casino licenses in the state but tribes were not among them.

Out of 16 applicants, the board chose three in three regions: the Catskills, the Capital and the Eastern Southern Tier/Finger Lakes. Tribes were involved in projects in each of those regions -- either as the bidder or as a financial or management partner -- but lost out to non-Indian developers.

“I would have loved to have had Mohegan Sun in the Catskills before I left, but it wasn’t in the cards,” Mitchell Etess, the outgoing CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, told The New London Day.

The Mohegan Tribe was hoping that the board would recommended the issuance of two licenses in the Catskills. The region is about 90 minutes north of New York City and has been the site of casino proposals for more than a decade.

In the Capital region, Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, was passed over for another bidder. The facility would have been managed by Global Gaming Solutions, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.

In the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region, a project that included the Seneca Nation lost out. The tribe was involved solely as a manager of the proposed casino.

For that region, the board went with the $425 million Lago Resort & Casino in the town of Tyre. The Oneida Nation and nearby officials oppose the project because it sits right at the edge of the tribe's exclusivity zone.

The three winning bidders must complete the application process before the New York State Gaming Commission awards the licenses.

Get the Story:
Board Backs Casinos in the Catskills, Near Albany and in Central New York (The New York Times 12/18)
Fortune smiles on Schenectady casino proposal (The Albany Times-Union 12/18)
Catskills Hang Hopes of Revival on New Casino (AP 12/18)
Catskills getting $630 million casino after New York state board approves 3 new projects (The New York Daily News 12/18)
Catskills hits jackpot in New York casino sweepstakes (The New York Post 12/18)
Lago casino in NY to start hiring next summer, opening early 2016 (The Syracuse Post-Standard 12/18)
Lago casino in Seneca County gets state's nod (The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 12/18)
Local opinions filter in on casino gaming announcement (The Dispatch 12/18)
Empire Resorts Gets Catskills Casino as N.Y. Selects Three Sites (Bloomberg News 12/17)

Related Stories:
Mohegan Tribe still pushing for commercial casino in New York (11/28)

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