Agreements between tribes aid New York State’s casino plans

Agreements between tribes aid New York State’s casino plansThe governor of New York Andrew Cuomo’s plans to expand the number of casinos to be built in the state were approved in a referendum held last month. The change to the constitution was to permit the construction of casinos that may be non- Indian owned. Before the referendum only native American tribes could operate casinos within the state but even then there were problems for the native American tribes because several race tracks had introduced slot machines and these so called “racinos” were in competition with the five Native American operated casinos in the state.
Despite several agreements made between the governor and some Indian tribes over matters concerning land and casinos, which had gone on for several years there was one major problem remaining until very recently. This situation arose from an agreement made in May this year between governor Cuomo and the Oneida tribe. Under the agreement, in return for a monopoly  over casinos in a large area the Oneida tribe was to give the state a share of its income. This amount could reach 50 million dollars a year. While this agreement meant that there would be no casino competing with any Oneida run casino over a certain area it caused a major problem for another tribe, the Cayugas.The agreement gave the Oneidas casino rights over some land that is owned by the Cayuga Nation and the situation was only recently solved. The Oneida tribe decided to waive their rights to the casino monopoly in the area where the Cayugas have land. This means that if in the future the Cayuga tribe wishes to open a casino that it could do so. The Oneida tribe filed court papers to give up its exclusive rights and so is sparing yet another possible disagreement over land and casinos in the state of New York.

The governor’s plans include building up to four Las Vegas type casinos in the state and the various disagreements with the native American tribes could have held these up even though the November referendum approved the expansion of casinos within the state.

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