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Tribe-Run Casino Could Be Built In The Hamptons

Ted Murphy

A tribal-run casino could be in the works for the Hamptons. Long Island’s only federally recognized tribe wants to go all-in with native-gaming giant Seminole Hard Rock.

The Shinnecock Indian Nation is in preliminary negotiations with the Seminole tribe to bring a casino to Long Island. Under its federal recognition, the tribe has the right to have video slots, bingo and full table gambling on tribal land. The Shinnecock tribe got a gaming ordinance from federal regulators over the summer to do so.

They could also build a casino off tribal territory, but would need approval from the New York State Gaming Commission.

“It's not really just going to help the Shinnecock. It's also going to help the state of New York obviously after the economic downturn due to the COVID-19,” said Bryan Polite, chairman of the Shinnecock council of trustees. He calls it a win-win for the state.

“New York is definitely facing some headwinds when it comes to the upcoming deficit in the budget, and this project has the potential to help get New York back on its feet, as well as help Shinnecock continue to be able to provide for our people and keep our culture alive,” Polite said.

The tribe has expanded its revenues from economic development in recent years from tobacco sales and advertising on two billboards. It also has a medical marijuana and wellness center in the works.

Right now, 30 percent of the tribe’s multi-million dollar budget comes from these projects. But a casino would up the ante.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.