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SHINNECOCK NATION — The Shinnecock Indian Nation, located in Southampton, N.Y. has entered into an agreement with Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment and Tri-State Partners to develop a casino at a yet-to-be determined location on Long Island.

Gaining federal recognition in 2010, the Shinnecock Indian Nation, with 660 tribal citizens, has explored opening a casino in the past. On July 17, 2020, the National Indian Gaming Commission approved a tribal gaming ordinance for the Shinnecock Nation that will set  forth how tribal gaming will be administered by the tribal nation.

The ordinance will allow the Shinnecock to conduct class-II gaming for slot machines and bingo parlors on tribal trust land. Additionally, the tribe will be able to conduct class-III gaming, which involves table gambling on tribal land or land taken into trust through the Department of the Interior – Indian Affairs. 

The Shinnecock Council of Trustees, in a statement released to Newsday on Thursday, said the joint venture with Seminole Hard Rock and Tri-State Partners will develop a “world-class entertainment destination,” an initiative that will “further [the nation’s] inherent sovereignty through economic growth and development.”

Seminole Hard Rock is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Seminole Hard Rock teamed with Tri-State Partners, operated by billionaire developer Jack Morris, to develop the Hard Rock & Casino in Atlantic City.

“I am excited to see the progress made as our nation works to build our tribal economy,” Shinnecock Vice Chairman Lance Gumbs told Native News Online. “We will release more information as we continue to plan.”

In August 2019, Shinnecock Indian Nation citizens approved resolutions that allowed its tribal leaders to move forward with the National Indian Gaming Commission to develop the tribal gaming ordinance and the agreement with the Seminole.

The agreement with Hard Rock could allow the Shinnecock Indian Nation and Tri-State Partners to pursue a commercial gaming license as opposed to a tribal gaming casino, which would require a compact agreement with the state of New York.

In its statement on Thursday, the Shinnecock leaders asked New York to make right past mistakes.

“We ask the people of this great state to come forward and work with us to put away the ghosts of the past and a history marred with broken promises, theft and suffering,” the statement said.

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