The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo is working towards having three major Las Vegas style casinos within the state of New York. The amendment to the state’s constitution that would allow new casinos to be built that are not American Indian owned casinos would have to be approved in a referendum towards the end of this year.
Working towards the changes to allow three new casinos has involved the governor in discussions with Native American tribes within the state as at the moment they are the only groups permitted to run casinos.There have been ongoing financial and other disagreements with some New York state tribes so in recent months governor Cuomo has been in discussions and the outcome is agreements that may ease the way for non- tribal run full casinos to be constructed within the upstate area.
An agreement was signed recently between the Oneida tribe and the governor and the local governments involved that will safeguard the area around the tribe’s existing casino from any other casino being built within a certain radius of it. On the tribe’s side they will pay the state around 50 million dollars each year from revenue. The agreement also brings some land disputes that had existed for the Oneida tribe for several years to an end. The tribe would also settle a long standing demand for tax from a nearby county with a one off payment. Under the deal the state would invest some of the income it receives from the tribe back into Oneida county.A similar agreement was made between the St. Regis Mohawk tribe and the governor. Under this agreement the Mohawks would not have any of the proposed casinos developed within a certain distance of their casino and in return the tribe will pay the state a quarter of its casino revenue.
Like with the Oneida tribe, there are also questions of land claims that should be resolved. The outcome of the governor’s proposal to build three casino resorts in New York state will not be known until towards the end of this year as it has yet to be approved at several levels.