Cayuga Nation Leaders: Tribe hasn't authorized gaming facilities

The LakeSide Entertainment facility in Union Springs, New York. Photo from 500 Nations

Two leaders of the Cayuga Nation of New York -- Sachem Samuel George and Faithkeeper Karl Hill -- dispute the tribe's operation of a Class II gaming facility that a rival leader, Clint Halftown, supports:
The May 19 court decision rejected Mr. Halftown’s effort to protect his bingo hall, a gambling enterprise on Cayuga Nation territory that was never authorized by any Cayuga Nation government and that is opposed by the Village of Union Springs and the county. Because Mr. Halftown’s claim to power rests on an interpretation of Cayuga law that is contradicted by Cayuga leaders Chief Samuel George, Chief William Jacobs, and Chester Isaac, the court found, Mr. Halftown could not show he had standing to file a lawsuit in the Nation’s name.

In fact, no Council of the Cayuga Nation has ever authorized any form of tribal gambling operation. Mr. Halftown and his supporters, Gary Wheeler and Timothy Twoguns are not, and have never been, chiefs of the Cayuga Nation, and have been acting unilaterally and illegally without the approval of the council for many years. The 2003 “tribal gaming ordinance” that claims to establish Class II gaming on Cayuga Nation land is signed only by Clint Halftown, in his prior capacity as the Nation’s federal representative. Further, the resolution that allegedly authorizes the enactment of the “gaming ordinance” is signed only by Mr. Halftown’s mother, Sharon LeRoy, in her capacity at that time as Secretary of the Nation. This is not valid under Cayuga Nation law.

The gaming facility benefits only a few financially, not the Cayuga Nation as a whole, and comes at a great cost societally to both our people and our neighbors. We agree with the Village of Union Springs that the gaming facility should not exist and we applaud the federal court’s dismissal of Mr. Halftown’s suit.

Get the Story:
Samuel George and Karl Hill: Gaming not backed by Cayuga Nation (The Auburn Citizen 5/24)

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