MONTICELLO, NY - Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry EchoHawk has
accepted an invitation from Congressman Maurice Hinchey to visit Sullivan County
this month and tour the proposed sites for Indian casinos. Details of the visit
are being worked out.
"Assistant Secretary EchoHawk has agreed to visit Sullivan County where he can
see firsthand how off-reservation gaming could benefit the local economy and
help to revive the region's tourism and hospitality industry," Hinchey said.
"Casino gaming in Sullivan County could provide a real shot in the arm to the
area's economy by creating thousands of new jobs, including construction jobs
and permanent positions at the facilities."
There are three tribes wanting to build off-reservation casinos in Sullivan.
1. The St. Regis Mohawks have proposed a major casino complex next to the
Monticello Casino & Raceway.
2. The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans wants to build in Bridgeville.
3. The Seneca Nation has also proposed building in Bridgeville.
The St. Regis Mohawks and Stockbridge-Munsees have applied to the federal
government to take their sites into federal trust, thus making the land
sovereign and eligible for gaming. The Senecas have taken a different approach
and have asked Congress to place the land into "restricted fee"
status which means similar sovereignty.
The major hurdle is a policy initiated in the Bush Administration to require
casinos to be within commuting distance of a reservation. This policy must be
rescinded before any of the Sullivan site can be approved.
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