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New kid after NYC gamblers

Jan 27, 2003 11:23 PM

FROM GT STAFF / WIRE REPORTS

New York City may have another avenue for gambling that’s closer than either Atlantic City or Connecticut.

The New York Post reported last week that a group of Long Island Indians are considering opening a casino on tribal land in the Hamptons. The Shinnecock Nation and casino developer Ong Enterprises have a $20 million gaming palace project in the works that would be located on 15 acres in Hampton Bays.

The Shinnecocks have 500 members and are considered a sovereign tribe by the New York State, but are not currently recognized by the federal government. Such recognition is necessary for the tribe to open a casino exempt from anti-gambling laws.

The Southhampton Press reported the impending deal between Ong and the Shinnecocks, stating that several members of the tribe believe a casino is the answer to the financially troubled reservation.

Officials refused to comment on a planned contract that would feature a bingo-hall type operation that would include 300 to 400 gaming machines and 12 tables. The pact would also allow for expansion into a full-scale casino provided that the legal problems with the tribe’s status can be rectified.

Supreme Court eyes La law

The U.S. Supreme Court is taking a look at a Louisiana law that bans campaign contributions from the casino gambling industry.

The Court has mandated that the state Board of Ethics file opposition arguments.

"I believe it sends a signal that the Supreme Court is interested in this case and may be inclined to grant the writ application," said ethics attorney Gary Sexton.

The Louisiana Supreme Court last year upheld the constitutionality of a state law banning riverboat and land-based casino interests from making political campaign contributions.

Slots urged for Wisconsin

The Tavern League of Wisconsin wants to legalize video-gambling machines and share rewards with the state, according to a Green Bay Press-Gazette report.

"It makes a lot more sense to regulate, license and tax them so the state can have the revenue stream and have the machines legal," said Scott Stenger, the League’s governmental affairs director.

Technically bars that pay out on the machines are offering gambling, which is illegal in Wisconsin.

Kansas gaming could expand

A major complex proposed by tribes in Wyandotte County could lead to money for the state of Kansas, according to a story in the Topeka Capital Journal.

The proposal, expected to be released this week, may break the logjam on the issue of expanded gaming. The plan calls for consolidating a $150 million megacasino adjacent to the Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County.

"I find this interesting," said Senate President Dave Kerr, who added that a key would be the willingness of the Indian tribes to recognize a new compact that would give the state and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County shares of the revenue that the planned casino would generate.

Currently, the state doesn’t receive any revenue from casino operated in northeast Kansas.