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Casino Soft Opens on St. Regis Mohawk Reservation


The Three Feathers Casino held a soft opening June 13 on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. A sign reading “casino now open” hangs on the building's wall.

Housed in a 55,000-square-foot building—former home of the popular yet illegal casino All In Lounge and Tony's Vegas International—the new gaming facility with 400 electronic bingo games and slot machine-like devices does not have any state or federal licensing. But its own licensing “meets or exceeds” the standards of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the casino's spokesman Chaz J. Kader told Johnson Newspapers.

Last fall, the casino's owners, the “Kanienkehaka Kaianerehkowa Kanonhsesne” or the Men’s Council of People of the Way of the Longhouse (Men's Council), approved its own gaming commission that then granted the licensing for the gaming operation. The group of Mohawk "sovereign people" are not associated with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the tribal government that is recognized by the state of New York.

“The gaming commission is a watchdog for the people of the Way of the Longhouse,” Mr. Kader told Johnson Newspapers. “It is specifically to promote and maintain the integrity of the gaming operation.”

The grand opening is slated to take place in several weeks. Approximately 85 employees already work at the casino, and the Men's Council has received about 700 applications for more jobs. Preference is given to the “Bear Clan,” Johnson Newspapers reported.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which operates the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and the Mohawk Bingo Palace, has shut down other unlicensed casinos in the past, noted the tribe's news release last month. “Unlicensed gaming facilities jeopardize the Tribe’s ability to provide needed services to the community through gaming revenues,” the release stated.