ALBANY – Legalized gaming in New York appears to be around the corner with the state legislature to vote approval in the new year followed by the governor’s signature and a vote by the public next November.
Native American casino proposals for off-reservation sites in Sullivan County have been on the table for years and while the federal government has eased restrictions on lands in trust, State Senator John Bonacic believes there is little likelihood of any being developed in New York.
“There are strong factions in the Congress, specifically in Vegas and California, that I do believe do not want to see a proliferation of Native American off-reservation casinos happen in the east and they keep their thumb on that,” Bonacic said. “You are not likely to see any of that unless there is a change in the philosophy in the Congress and the Senate or with our President.”
The plans for legalized gaming in New York tentatively call for seven casinos and area officials are hoping for at least two in the Catskills – one in the Monticello area and one in the Ellenville area.