Second Casino Ok’d For The Catskills

Sullivan County finalized a 12-page contract yesterday with its second Indian tribe and development company to build a casino in the Catskills.
The first deal was a record-breaker. And this one is, too.
The county is set to rake in $105 million over seven years in the past with the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans from 711kelab Wisconsin and their development team, Trading Cove Associates of Connecticut. The tribe will pay the county $3.75 million every three months.

Tribal leaders approved the agreement at a meeting last night in Wisconsin.
The tribe intends to build a $600 million Mohegan Sun-style casino atop a rocky bluff off Exit 107 on Route 17 in Bridgeville, 85 miles from New York City.
The plan is to break ground later this year and open in 2004.
“Now that we have the strong support from the county and local community, we can move forward toward obtaining the state and federal approvals necessary to make our project a reality,” said Mohicans’ President Robert Chicks.
It was clear yesterday that the dream of a Sullivan County economic revival is nearing reality.

“This further establishes what the bar is going to be for other tribes coming in,” Legislature Chairman Rusty Pomeroy said. “There’s a cost to do business and this is the minimum. Do you know? This is where we start talking.”
The pact is similar to the $15 million-a-year agreement the county signed in November with the St. Regis Mohawks and Park Place Entertainment in
According to the deal:

  • The tribe pays for all road improvements and water and sewer services necessary for the development of the casino.
  • The tribe must hire employees in this order: tribe members, members of other Indian tribes, residents of Sullivan County, then residents of New York.
  • The tribe can’t conduct bingo.
  • The tribe must provide a gambling addiction program to residents of the county.
  • The county will reimburse any other municipality that is impacted by the deal.

The difference is, the latest contract allows the Stockbridge-Munsees to run a convenience store on the 333 acres the casino would be built on, similar to a store the tribe runs at the Mohegan Sun in southeastern Connecticut. But the tribe must collect and remit all local, state, and federal sales and excise taxes on gasoline and convenience store goods. Cigarettes can’t be priced below the state minimum and bottle redemption laws must be no less than the state requires.
The Mohegan Sun station is located on the outbound lanes of Mohegan Sun Boulevard, the main road to the casino. It includes 20 full- and self-serve gas pumps, a mini-mart, and a coffee bar.

That provision brought the only vote against the project.
“I’m all for gaming, but I don’t believe that any tribe that comes here needs to have a convenience store,” said Legislator Jodi Goodman. “Gaming is it. That’s the main issue.”

The tribe said it is not interested in under-pricing but wanted to structure a system in which gamblers could earn player points at the casino that could be redeemed at the convenience store, Pomeroy said. Under the pact, the tribe must allow independent vendors in the county to accept player points if they choose to.
Also, the agreement is not site-specific. If the tribe moves the project, a new agreement would not be necessary.