International edition
July 27, 2021

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has 45 days to approve or reject the compact

New York governor submits compact for tribal casino

(US).- New York Governor David Paterson introduced a plan for a tribal casino in the Catskills during his last days in office. He submitted a copy of the gaming compact with the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohican Indians to the Department of the Interior.

T

he compact outlines the agreement with the Wisconsin tribe, which would contribute up to 25% of slot-machine revenues to the state.

In November, the Wisconsin-based tribe and Paterson announced a land-swap arrangement that would end its claim to 24,000 acres in Madison County in exchange for the 333-acre site of the proposed gaming facility.

On Wednesday, a copy of the November 22 gaming compact - complete with the signatures of Paterson and tribal President Kimberly Vele - was provided to the Times Union. The 74-page document lays out in detail the regulatory structure that would guide the casino's management as well as the cut of net slot machine revenue that would come to the state: 18 % to start, topping out at 25 % within five years.

The compact also guarantees that, in the event that any other downstate Indian casino is approved in the future, the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe will have a chance to claim the same contractual terms.

The land-swap and gaming compact are now in the hands of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who has 45 days to approve or reject the compact. If he takes no action, both aspects of the agreement become binding.

Leaders of the Oneida Nation, which operates Turning Stone Casino in Verona, have protested the state's decision to hand the Catskills project to an out-of-state tribe; they have promised to fight the deal in court.

Last month, the Oneidas' request to examine the gaming compact was rejected by Paterson's counsel, Peter Kiernan, who argued that it couldn't be made public pending attorney review and Salazar's consideration.

US Senator Charles Schumer, who joined Paterson to announce the casino deal, has said that he would press Interior to approve the compact despite the agency's resistance to off-reservation casinos.

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