Earlier this month, the Shinnecock Nation revealed its intentions to apply for one of three available downstate casino licenses in New York State. The tribal nation has already submitted its application to the state’s regulators and it is hopeful that it will be able to land one of the licenses for a Las Vegas-style casino, after being previously snubbed by the state.
Currently, there is a moratorium on the issuing of the three downstate casino licenses until 2023, however, the state is willing to lift it in order to secure more revenue for the local budget. The delay in the issuing is due to the state deciding to allow the four commercial upstate casinos to establish themselves in the market before launching the three new ones downstate.
Hopeful for a Fresh Start
This week, Shinnecock Nation’s Chairman Bryan Polite and Vice-Chairman Randy King explained that they currently will not share any details from the tribe’s report submitted to the state. They elaborated that this was due to providing Governor Kathy Hochul’s staff with more time to assess the application. According to them, in the report, the tribe responded to why it should be considered for a license.
The two officials shared that in the past the tribe was regularly ignored by former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration. They gave the state’s decision to award a gaming license to Jake’s 58 Hotel and Casino in Islandia as an example. Both, are now hopeful that the tribe and Governor Hochul’s office will have a better relationship for the future.
Additionally, Mr. King said that the state was looking to acquire information from both parties that are interested in receiving a gambling license, and those that would be affected by the potential location of the casino. Currently, the tribe is both an interested party as it wants to launch a Las Vegas-type casino, and an affected party since as a sovereign nation it must protect its territory in Long Island.
Besides pursuing a downstate commercial license, the nation is also looking to launch a 76,000-square-foot gaming property on its territory. Since it is federally recognized the tribe does not need approval by the state or Southampton Town to construct the Class II casino on its lands. Initially, the groundwork for the casino was supposed to start in 2021 but due to the unprecedented situation work was delayed.
Plenty of Competition
However, in its pursuit of a commercial downstate license, the Shinnecock Nation will face tough competition as many gambling operators eye the three licenses. This week, the New York State Gaming Commission revealed that it received over 30 responses for its Request for Information. The proposals include ones from at least eight casino operators, such as MGM Resorts International, Genting New York, and Rush Street Gaming.
In addition to that, a recent proposal for one of the downstate casinos was submitted by former casino analyst Jason Ader in coalition with Universal Entertainment Corporation as operator. His application suggests a US$3 billion casino with a futuristic design in Manhattan, named “Mirai“. It is set to feature the largest cryptocurrency trading floor in the world, a landing pad for flying cars, and an event center.
Source: Kotz, Stephen “Shinnecock Nation Starts Process It Hopes Will Lead To State Casino License”, SagharborExpress, December 22, 2021