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New York Times

Why the Sinnecock are clashing with the Hamptons elite

For 20 years, Cinnecock Indian Nation has attempted to open a casino near Manhattan in the hope that gambling halls will save them from poverty and become an economic driving force to fund social programs. I failed. Today, the tribe is looking to a new place, the Hamptons’ hometown. The Sinnecock Hamptons Casino is expected to rise as early as 2023 in a tribal settlement on the East End of Long Island. Sign up for the morning newsletter from The New York Times. However, some of the tribal neighbors are united against the placement of the casino. This summer vacation is known for its soothing, rubble summer homes owned by wealthy and influential homeowners. They see casinos with bingo slots and poker as as unpleasant as franchise restaurants and large box stores. These are locked out to maintain the characteristics of the area. Cinnecock tribal leaders began construction on a reservation this summer to jump to competitors seeking state licenses to build other casinos in or around New York City. He said he had no choice but to start construction. “This is about the protection of our people,” said tribal chairman Brian Polite. “The story of Sinnecock is a story of struggle and patience, and that’s what’s happening now.” The new casino program puts the country socially and financially on many deprived and oppressed groups, including indigenous peoples. It comes when you are working on the issue of inequality. In the Sinnecock settlement, one in five lives below the poverty line with a sparse mix of discreet homes and unruly trailers. From the sloppy coastline, Cinecock can gaze across the bay from workers landscaping the lawns of the giant Southampton summer mansion. It is totally unfair that tribal leaders want to be improved by the economic lifelines of tribal-run casinos. The planned Sinnecock Hamptons Casino cannot be blocked by local zoning laws and restrictions, as reservations are sovereign land and are not regulated by the government. Still, a group of about 200 homeowners has formed the Hamptons Neighborhood Group and hasn’t stopped launching a website with the motto “Keep the Hamptons in the Hamptons.” The group called the casino because of the characteristics of the residential environment and said it would lead to increased traffic, noise problems, mayhem and potential crime. They began discussing with tribal leaders the possibility of finding other places that could benefit the tribe. “Many of us are liberals of the mind and sympathize with the oppressed people. We understand their attempts at economic development,” said group homeowner James Wacht. Said. “But that’s not the right place,” said Jay Schneiderman, director of the town of Southampton, who has vowed that many locals are against the casino plan and will withdraw once the casino plan is built. Some people said. He said he respected tribal rights, but added that “I can’t think of a worse place to build a casino.” Alan Woinski, an analyst and consultant in the gambling industry, said Shinnecocks’ proposal was sufficient to pressure Governor Andrew Cuomo to offer the tribe a deal to build a more lucrative casino elsewhere. He said it could cause turmoil. Polite people said the tribe would not reject the offer to find a more favorable place. “We wanted to have a Las Vegas-style casino near Manhattan, but moderate returns are better than no returns,” Polite said. Cinnecock leaders haven’t revealed financial details, and it remains unclear how useful the 76,000-square-foot casino is. The reserved casino was approved by the Federal National Indian Games Commission after Sinnecock did not receive state support for a casino near Manhattan. With its approval, the casino is required to operate as a smaller Class 2 gaming facility (only at reserved locations) with only bingo slots and limited poker options. These limits and 80 miles from Manhattan can put Sinnecock’s casino at a disadvantage to its competitors. When Sinnecock tried to open one of the first casinos in New York about 20 years ago, they made such a gambling facility one of the most lucrative casinos in, as the local market is wide open. Countries that cited studies that reported likely to be. Members imagined that the fate of the Mohegan and Machantacket Pecots in Connecticut would change. Connecticut has benefited from two of the country’s largest casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Due to the failure of Sinnecock’s proposal, more than 12 other casinos have opened throughout the state. Among them, Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel in Islandia, Suffolk County, about 40 miles west, could impact the tribe’s potential customer base. .. Opened in 2017, Jake’s 58 is one of the state’s most profitable video lottery betting sites, seeking state approval to double the number of existing 1,000 video lottery devices. Sinecock leaders are set to issue three new licenses in 2023 for a full-fledged casino location in or near New York City and are eager to open the casino quickly. I will. These licenses are being sought by large casino operators and will attract more potential customers from Southampton casinos. Tribe trustee Seneca Bowen, 32, said when she saw the casino site scheduled for earlier this month, “I was at the table before they came and was somehow overlooked.” It was. Expecting up to $ 6 million in financial relief and social programs from the Biden administration’s stimulus, the tribe embarks on a casino with Tristate Partners, who has worked with the Seminole tribe at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. ing. Some of the approximately 500 casinos opened by Indian tribes across the country have succeeded in saving the tribes from poverty, disappointing small profits, competition, poor location, and conflicts with financial partners. Some may be closed due to. He said the location of Shinnecock Casino would probably bring credible revenue, even if profitability is limited due to size and game restrictions. “It’s the Hamptons,” he said. “Also, there are no other casinos out there, so people will go.” That’s what the residents surrounding the booking are worried about. Sinecock leaders said they were open to working with a group of homeowners, as long as they didn’t upset the casino’s plans. Polite people called the project essential to Sinnecock’s survival and dismissed the opposition, saying that “hysteria occurred whenever we tried to do something.” “There are three times as many houses around here,” he said, when compared to the planned casino. Across the parcels of land on which the casino will be built, tribal vice president Randy King, 58, said members did not want the opportunity to pass by. When the casino’s attempts failed for years, he said tribal members wondered, “When will the arc of justice shake our way?” The first white settlers arrived in 1640 in the town of Southampton, New York’s oldest British settlement. Since then, the tribe has repeatedly argued with the town, and the land has steadily shrunk to its current 900 acres. Reservation. The proceedings have been filed for compensation and the return of thousands of acres, including the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which has held five US Open. Of the 1,600 members of the tribe, about 720 live in settlements, with a median household income of about $ 30,000, less than one-third of the median income of the surrounding Safolk counties. The tribe’s existing sources of income range from the annual Labor Day Pow Wow to smoke shops selling tax-exempt cigarettes and large electronic signs on the tribal land along the Sunrise Highway. The casino’s earnings will help the economic development and well-being of bookings by funding social programs and improvements and creating jobs, Polite said. The potential for cash benefits to families has not yet been determined, but casino income will help the tribe expand its family support fund to help members with expenses such as rent, food, utilities and car payments. He said it would be. The money will also be used to expand new recreation centers and tribal security forces, Polite said. “It’s a big income for us and it will have an immediate impact and change the quality of life here overnight,” he said. This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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