November 1, 2009, Mid-Hudson News: Decision on off-reservation gaming is near, says Schumer

Decision on off-reservation gaming is near, says Schumer
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WASHINGTON – A decision on the future of Native American casino gaming in the Catskills could be known in the coming weeks. Senator Charles Schumer got the word from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. If the blanket ban set by former Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is overturned or modified, the senator is also urging the Interior Department to evaluate the applications that have already been submitted instead of forcing interested parties to go through a reapplication process. “I am hopeful that they will allow Indian tribes to do casinos even if it’s not on their reservation,” he said. “They didn’t tell me that, but I am just getting some vibes that we might, might get a good decision.” The Stockbridge-Munsee seeks to build a casino in the Town of Thompson and the St. Regis Mohawks sought to build one at Monticello Raceway. In January 2008, Kempthorne denied their applications along with 21 other off-reservation land-into-trust applications. “After over a year of hard work, a decision on whether to overturn the flawed Kempthorne precedent is tantalizingly close,” said Schumer.

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