The Shinnecock Tribe reached an agreement with the Interior Department which it feels will earn it federal recognition by December 15.
Once federally recognized, they would immediately have the right to build a “Class II” casino on their 800-acre reservation, a designation that would mean they could have thousands of video slot machines, but no table games.....However, the notion of slots in the Hamptons has long been unpopular there; and besides, the tribe has bigger game in mind in the form of a full-blown casino.
“We’re surrounded by the wealthiest communities in the country, yet the state of affairs on the reservation is one of offhanded neglect,” said Frederick C. Bess, one of the Shinnecock Nation’s three trustees. [NY Times]
Among sites that have been discussed as possible locations are the Aqueduct and Belmont raceways, and the defunct Shoreham nuclear power plant - though all discussions are considered extremely preliminary. [Newsday]Well, we all know that by December 15, the construction of the Big A racino will be well under way! Right?? Of course, for all we know about the closed-door process, the Shinnecocks may already have a hand in one of the bids.
- You may have noticed on NYRA's homepage, wedged neatly between an ad for an upcoming handicapping contest and Andy Serling's mug, a banner ad regarding NYRA's auction of land plots surrounding the Big A, which is scheduled for June 10. Click on the photo for a closeup, and you'll see that most of the lots are vacant. And that is of concern to Ozone Park residents.
But people who have lived near the Aqueduct Racetrack are worried that the open space, which will go on the auction block June 10, will be replaced with rows of new housing - putting more stress on the local infrastructure in Ozone Park.According to the piece, some residents were led to believe that they would get first crack at the lots; but a NYRA spokesperson said that they are not allowed to give preference to any buyers.
New homes could worsen flooding problems, he said. It's unclear whether there's enough power to supply new residences.
"We have real concerns about this quiet little area that is going to be changed forever," [Sen. Joseph] Addabbo said. [NY Daily News]