Tuesday, June 14, 2011
(Monticello) - Today’s announcement of the Obama administration rescinding a ban on off-reservation casino proposals that are not in close proximity to the reservation will certainly re-activate interest in developing casinos in Sullivan County. Jonathan Rouis, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature, states, “I applaud the efforts of Senator Schumer as he lobbied hard for the lifting of the ban on off reservation casinos. We look forward to starting the process with our Native American partners to secure Native American gaming in the Sullivan County Catskills.”
Only five tribes gained approval for off-reservation gaming since passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The St. Regis Mohawks managed to get all approvals for a proposed casino next to the Monticello Casino & Raceway but were denied when former Interior Secretary Kempthorne introduced the commutable distance guidance memorandum, and refused to take the land into trust. “It has been an ongoing struggle to secure gaming in Sullivan County and I am cautiously optimistic that the federal government sees that bringing Native American gaming to Sullivan County will create an economic stimulus for not only Sullivan County, but also the Hudson Valley region and New York State,” said Leni C. Binder, Minority Leader of the Sullivan County Legislature.
“The added jobs to the community as well as the revenue from a possible casino hotel would surely add a needed economic boost to the Sullivan County Catskills.” The recent interest by retailers looking to locate in Sullivan County will be enhanced by the addition of a casino resort,” cited Alan Sorensen, District 9 legislator where the casinos are slated to be located.
There is strong support for Indian gaming in Sullivan County which has state approval for three casinos. This announcement offers a renewed opportunity to pursue a Catskills casino. Elwin Wood, Vice Chair of the Sullivan County Legislature and Chairman of the Community and Economic Development Committee, stated “We look forward to the renewed interest in developing a casino in Sullivan County. Such a project could bring upwards of 2,000 permanent jobs and 2,000 construction jobs to the area.” “The one thing that Sullivan County needs is a spark that will ignite economic development in Sullivan County, the placing of a first class gaming facility will bring additional stimulus to the projects that we as a legislature have been working to develop through our economic development corporation.”
Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau envisions this economic opportunity as one of the major puzzle pieces to secure fiscal vitality once again throughout our county. “The Sullivan County economy will benefit from additional tourism venues and jobs for County residents,” concluded Fanslau.
For more information, please contact the legislators at 845-807-0435 or David Fanslau at 845-807-0450