Thiele To Cuomo: Talk To The Shinnecocks About A Casino

Hampton Classic 2013
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Hampton Classic

New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo last week that he wanted him to begin talking seriously with the Shinnecock Indian Nation about a casino on Long Island.

Check out the letter below…

Dear Governor Cuomo:

The Shinnecock Indian Nation is located within my State Assembly District. With both state and federal recognition now in hand, the Shinnecocks have been actively investigating the establishment of a casino gaming facility. They have made it clear that they do not wish to pursue such a facility either on their reservation property in Southampton or elsewhere on the East End of Long Island because of the lack of community support as well as the required road and other infrastructure to support such a facility in the more rural part of Long Island. They have conveyed this position to Congressman Tim Bishop as well as myself and other elected officials on Long Island.


Personally, I have never been a supporter of casino gaming as a means of economic development. In my opinion, the negatives outweigh the positives. Casino gaming does not create wealth, it re-distributes it. Nevertheless, I am realistic in understanding that gambling is and will continue to be a part of the policy discussion in New York State. I am also respectful of the sovereignty of the Shinnecock Nation and its expressed position to pursue casino gambling at a site in western Long Island.


With the recent announcement that the original plan to construct a convention center and casino at Aqueduct is now off the table and that your office will be examining other options, I wanted to take this opportunity to urge you to meet with the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s leaders to hear their plans and to consider where the interests of the State of New York and the Shinnecock may intersect.


I note that there are currently five Indian-run casinos in the State of New York and that a Shinnecock run casino would not require a state constitutional amendment to proceed. Of course, it would require federal and state action including a state compact. In my opinion, community support for an off-reservation Long Island location is also critical.


I believe that now is the time for your office to explore these options and urge you to meet with the Shinnecock at your earliest convenience.



Fred W. Thiele

Member of Assembly


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