The might be close to striking a deal with Nassau County to place a casino on county land adjacent to the Nassau Coliseum, according to multiple published reports, but the tribe is staying closed-lipped.
The New York Post and Newsday reported this month that unnamed sources say a deal is imminent. Tribal spokeswoman Beverly Jensen told Patch last week that the tribe will not discuss a specific casino location until a decision has been made.
The Shinnecocks became a federally recognized tribe in October after a 32-year process fraught with delays and obstacles. The new recognition opened the door to building a Shinnecock-operated casino on Long Island or elsewhere, and officials in both Suffolk and Nassau have lobbied the tribe to site casinos in their counties. Any deal would include millions of dollars for county coffers, and a casino is expected to drum up tourism and give a shot in the arm to the local economy.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said at a recent press conference that he would like to have the Shinnecocks use county-owned land in Yaphank.
The tribe has not recently entertained the idea of gambling on the reservation in Southampton, an idea largely opposed by local elected officials.
Crain’s reported Wednesday that unnamed sources say a memorandum of understanding between the Shinnecocks and Nassau could be signed as soon as the end of this week.
After one or more casino sites are chosen, it would still be years before shovels are in the ground, as municipalities and the tribe seek state and federal approvals necessary under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and other regulations and capital is secured.