Face
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September 23rd, 2011 at 2:24:32 PM permalink
As I stated in a seperate thread, NYS is currently considering allowing Class III gaming (other than tribal). Since I get somewhat of an inside scoop on such matters, I thought I'd forward anything I hear on down the line. This isn't Class III (info to come as it happens) but I thought it may be of interst to some.

Aqueduct's Racino abuzz with the sound of money as slots come to town
BY IRVING DEJOHN
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Wednesday, September 21st 2011, 4:00 AM

Michael Speller CEO/President World Resorts Casino, gave a tour of the still under construction Aqueduct Racino.
The company behind Aqueduct's racino took the wraps off its glitzy Vegas-like gaming hall with all the bells and whistles - but without the blackjack tables and show girls.
Reporters got a sneak peek of the Aqueduct facility from Resorts World New York yesterday, which is slated to open its doors to the public in late October.
The electronic gaming machines were illuminated and awaiting programing, creating a dizzying light show in anticipation of a swarm of gamblers. The ongoing construction left some of the screens with a fine layer of dust.
The initial opening, which is limited to only the first floor, will include 2,280 video lottery terminals and 219 electronic table game seats stretched over the 190,000-square-foot area. The second and third floors, which will open by the end of the year, remain mostly a skeleton filled with construction workers.
The swirling, multicolored rugs filled the expanse, adding a dizziness to the frenzy of the gaming floor, dubbed the Times Square Casino. The bright lights and sensory experience rival 42nd St.
Resorts World President Michael Speller said the advanced gaming technology won't be the only way to relax at the new Big A.
"It will match anything you can get in New York City," he said.
In the center of the Times Square Casino will be Bar 360, which will include a massive, 28-foot-wide-by-18-foot-high high-definition screen for watching sporting events, and just might be the "biggest in Queens," Speller said.
Vibrant decor is nothing without food to enjoy it with, so the racino will boast several food courts and a full Chinese bistro named Genting Palace, after its Malaysian-based parent company.
"We will serve food from all over the world," he said.
Speller also noted that the nearby subway station will get a face-lift, including a "skywalk" indoor bridge that will shelter gamers from the harsh weather as winter approaches.
The new look into the amenities at the Aqueduct comes at a time when the debate over legalizing table games is heating up.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he would be open to converting the racino into a full-fledged casino.
Speller said he'd be "very happy to participate" if the state ban is removed.
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Ayecarumba
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September 23rd, 2011 at 4:07:17 PM permalink
In your professional, non-binding, non-legal, shoot from the hip, opinion Face, do you think full class 3 will ever be a reality in non-tribal New York?
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Face
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September 23rd, 2011 at 5:04:49 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

In your professional, non-binding, non-legal, shoot from the hip, opinion Face, do you think full class 3 will ever be a reality in non-tribal New York?



Well, the tribe certainly doesn't want it, which is so much fart in so much wind, really. NY's racino in Hamburg (just south of Buffalo) is in direct violation of the State/Nation Compact already, so any hump NYS has to cross with regards to Nation rights to gambling (if there is any) will be properly bulldozed just like all agreements before it. In any case, the casino I mentioned to begin this thread is near NYC. The State/Nation agreement only stretches to Rt 14, which runs north/south from Lake Ontario to the PA border and splits the Finger Lakes. So even if a higher court sides with the Nation, that would only exclude maybe 2/5ths of NYS.

As far as NYS's stance on it, I'm not really familiar with the law of why it's currently not allowed and who made the law. I know the people were very much against the Seneca's casinos in Buffalo especially, but that seemed to be half cultural / half economic. People were against "losing" a part of Buffalo (that land would become Seneca territory), and were against a casino possibly (probably?) suffocating the city's restaurant, hotels, and retail due to the Seneca's tax-free advantage. In other words, it didn't seem to be a moral issue like "gambling is wrong, shouldn't be here, whatever" but more of how it was coming about.

In my personal opinion being ignorant of NYS gaming law, I'd say sure. Gaming seems to be the new cash cow, and NYS is a financial mess. They've already "allowed" Class III in a tribal capacity, and they already have the infrastructure in their many Class II facilities. I'm actually surprised it's taken this long for the Class III idea to get started. Stay tuned...
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Face
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September 23rd, 2011 at 5:46:17 PM permalink
I should also add that the Seneca Nation is currently attempting to open another Class III casino in the Catskills. I have nearly no information on it as of yet and am kind of perplexed on the issue as it stands, but I believe a land claim has been filed and the wheels are turning to get that idea up and running. For now it is but hopes and dreams, but as always I'll keep you posted.
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boymimbo
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September 23rd, 2011 at 7:18:28 PM permalink
I don't blame buffalo for not wanting Seneca to open a casino in the city. The area around Seneca Niagara's a complete "shithole" and the casino and the state should have agreed for some kind of economic rehabilitation to the area around the casino.
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teddys
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September 23rd, 2011 at 8:28:54 PM permalink
Isn't Turning Stone near Syracuse still technically illegal as litigation has been going on for as long as it has been open?
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Face
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September 23rd, 2011 at 9:23:16 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

I don't blame buffalo for not wanting Seneca to open a casino in the city. The area around Seneca Niagara's a complete "shithole" and the casino and the state should have agreed for some kind of economic rehabilitation to the area around the casino.



They kind of did. I mean, the Nation was required to pay a percentage of the slot take to NYS. NYS was free to do with that money what it so chose to do, including rehabilitating piss poor NF and it's sadder cousin, Buffalo. But they didn't, because government, especially NYS's, isn't about making things better. Any improvement to these areas is going to have to come from somewhere else.

Quote: teddys

Isn't Turning Stone near Syracuse still technically illegal as litigation has been going on for as long as it has been open?



I'm not familiar with Turning Stone as that's the Oneida tribe. But to kind of speak on that point while also addressing boymimbo, the Seneca's operation is also in violation with State Compacts. The tribe no longer pays a dime to the state since the state violated the agreement by opening the Hamburg location. Truely, if you even want to witness the epitome of clusterfuck, you should delve into the world of State/Nation contracts. In the Seneca's case, NYS violated, so the tribe refused to pay. NYS continues to "charge" the Nation, although no funds exchange. The State also continues to bang on about the tobacco issue (a whole 'nuther level of cluster) and is currently going to great lengths to monkeywrench that operation, which could get the cig companies involved. The Nation also continues to "charge tolls" to every vehicle that crosses the reservation on I90, even though not a dollar of THAT money exchanges. So the fact that Turning Stone is in court with NYS neither surprises me, nor makes me think it's "illegal". As one who grew up in and knows only this way of life, it's just business as usual.
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SOOPOO
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September 24th, 2011 at 3:10:47 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

I don't blame buffalo for not wanting Seneca to open a casino in the city. The area around Seneca Niagara's a complete "shithole" and the casino and the state should have agreed for some kind of economic rehabilitation to the area around the casino.



The area was a shithole before the casino. It is slightly better now, but not much. I believe there actually has to be a proposition on the ballot for the voters in NY state to change the law to allow non Indian casinos to exist. I am not sure about the 'class' of the casino, because obviously 'racinos' already exist. Most of the local opposition to the Buffalo casino was based more on 'its bad for the local people, it won't bring in outside (tourist) money' argument.
Fleaswatter
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September 24th, 2011 at 8:57:15 AM permalink
Quote: Face

NY's racino in Hamburg (just south of Buffalo) is in direct violation of the State/Nation Compact already,




This is not true, the racino is not in violation of the compact. The compact deals with the issue of class III gaming. The "slot machines" at the racino are actually "video lottery terminals" and are considered class II gaming.

If you believe that the racino is in violation of the compact, then the the Seneca Nation of Indians is also in violation of the compact with their "Seneca Gaming and Entertainment" facilities in Salamanca and Irving, NY, which have the same types of class II gaming machines.
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Face
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September 24th, 2011 at 12:14:37 PM permalink
Quote: Fleaswatter

This is not true, the racino is not in violation of the compact. The compact deals with the issue of class III gaming. The "slot machines" at the racino are actually "video lottery terminals" and are considered class II gaming.

If you believe that the racino is in violation of the compact, then the the Seneca Nation of Indians is also in violation of the compact with their "Seneca Gaming and Entertainment" facilities in Salamanca and Irving, NY, which have the same types of class II gaming machines.



Negative. SG&E facilities are allowed within the area of exclusivity because they are also owned by the Seneca Nation and they exist on tribal land. If the Nation wanted to plop down another slot hall on their square mile in Oil Springs near Cuba Lake, they would be allowed to do that too.

And yes, the racino IS in violation. The Compact states that the Nation shall have total exclusivity with respect to the installation and operation of, and no person or entity other than the Nation shall be permitted to install or operate, Gaming Devices, including slot machines, within this geographic area. The ONLY exception is if the Tuscarora Indian Nation or Tonowanda Band of Senecas also decide to open a gaming facility.

That is straight from the several hundred page legally binding contract signed by the President of the Nation and the Governor of NY, of which I have a copy.
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