April 8, 2009, Mid-Hudson News: Seneca Nation casino proposal wins conceptual approval in Thompson

Seneca Nation casino proposal wins conceptual approval in Thompson

Rotate Black Gaming CEO John Paulsen exlplains the casino project.
Listening is Town Board member Sharon Jankiewicz

THOMPSON – The Thompson Town Board Tuesday night voted to support in concept the plans for the Seneca Nation of Indians to build a gaming casino off Route 17 in the Bridgeville area.

The resolution said the support was contingent on the town and Sullivan County government reaching a memorandum of understanding.

When town government recently said it wanted the Nation to sign a local services agreement to give back to the communities, it refused, but Town supervisor Anthony Cellini told them the town would not support the venture without the agreement.

Nation officials came back to the town Tuesday with an agreement on a contract. They also briefed Sullivan County officials.

The Nation hopes to secure federal approval for the casino, not by way of the land in trust approval process, but by way of Congressional approvals. And, John Paulsen, CEO of RotateBlack, the development partner with the Senecas, said the approvals are a long shot, but they are confident.

 “We are dealing with a time of economic distress, and the nice thing about our proposal is that it creates 5,000 jobs but doesn’t cost the federal government or the state government a nickel,” he said. “We have investment partners here with the Seneca Nation to make this happen and if the Congress could put $700 billion into the economy for saving industries, then I hope they can put some land into Indian Country status that costs nothing.”

The project would include two million square feet of space, 6,000 slot machines, 120 table games, a 2½ acre indoor pool setting, 1,500 room hotel, 11 restaurants and 100,000 square feet of banquet space.


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