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Long Island Indian casino pending Shinnecock recognition

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April 3, 2009

LONG ISLAND, NY - Preliminary federal recognition of the Shinnecock tribe could be granted within a week according to Lance Gumbs, a Shinnecock trustee. Formal recognition could follow within a few months and open the door for the Shinnecock to build a casino on Long Island. The tribe has previously said it wants to build a casino-hotel-entertainment complex similar to the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

Gumbs made his announcement at the first meeting of Suffolk County's Gaming Task Force, which is helping the tribe find a casino site. He said he has been in talks with the U.S. Department of Interior to settle the tribe's litigation to regain the federal recognition it held until the 1950s.

Gumbs is optimistic from his recent discussions with new interior officials, White House staff, and the presidential transition team.

"Once we have that final determination, then the door is open and we intend to go through it at 100 mph," Gumbs said.

Ray Donnelly, chairman of the task force, said the group is developing a profile of what is needed for the potential casino site. Then the task force will request proposals from developers and property owners who have sites to offer.

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