Shinnecock Indians

Jun 21, 2010 5:50 PM

It has taken decades for the Shinnecock Indians of Long Island, N.Y., to receive federal recognition so now the tribal leaders can concentrate on their plans to build a casino.

Although, in the early 2000’s, the tribe worried the wealthy summer visitors to the Hamptons by suggesting a casino in their midst, it’s unlikely that will happen. The "not in my backyard" philosophy has caused a task force to be formed to help the tribe find a suitable location for a casino.

Among the spots being considered are Belmont Park racetrack, since nearby Aqueduct racetrack is already designated to have a slot machine emporium; the Nassau Coliseum or some other location somewhere outside New York City.

Gov. David Paterson (pictured) has already indicated he will work with the tribe to find what has been described as "an ideal location."

By law, there has to be a 30-day waiting period before the tribe can be entered in the Federal Register.

Currently, there are about 500 tribal members living on the reservation, as neighbors to some of the richest people in the world. Some 700 members of the tribe live elsewhere.

A Long Island casino won’t impact Atlantic City, says Don Marrandino, eastern regional president of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., which operates four of the 11 casinos in Atlantic City.

Marrandino said he believes the troubled casino city needs to "reinvent itself into a multi-day resort that offers more than gambling."

Shades of Las Vegas, where Marrandino spent many years as a casino executive.