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Racino Operators Call for Review of Catskills Casino

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The Oneida Indian Nation isn't alone in its protest of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians' proposed $1.3 billion casino in the Catskills -- a deal now on table with federal regulators, reported Politics on the Hudson. “We believe that this compact, signed and submitted without public input or oversight and at the very end of [Mr.] Paterson's tenure, poses significant, negative budgetary impacts for New York state that should be carefully re-evaluated,” reads a letter signed by six New York racino operators, sent Jan. 11, to aides of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (democrat), and state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (republican). The letter pleads that the Cuomo administration ask the federal Department of Interior to "stop the clock" on its statutory-mandated 45-day evaluation of the contract that would allow the Wisconsin Indian tribe to build a casino on 330 acres, 90 miles north of New York City, according to Politics on the Hudson. The letter also requests state officials conduct an economic analysis of the casino's impact. Written on behalf of the operators of Yonkers Raceway, Aqueduct, Monticello Casino and Raceway, Saratoga Gaming & Raceway, the Buffalo Trotting Association and the Fingerlakes Racing Association, the letter said state would lose millions of dollars in tax revenue, since the Catskills casino would likely pull existing customers away from nearby facilities. Prior to leaving office in December, Paterson said the Sullivan County casino would provide about $900 million in additional slot machine revenue and help revive the area's tourist economy. The Mohican band says the tracks are trying to eliminate perceived competition, but the tribe expects the state to honor the contract, reported The New York Times.

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