The Shinnecock Indian Nation is rolling the dice on renewed plans to build a casino, announcing Tuesday that it plans to start building a gaming facility this summer on its Southampton reservation.
The Shinnecock, which previously cleared five acres of land to build a casino on tribal land in 2003 and then tried reviving that stalled effort a decade ago after winning federal recognition, is betting it will have better luck now.
“We feel that we have all our ducks in a row this time,” Shinnecock Chairman Bryan Polite told reporters Wednesday during a news conference on the plans.
If successful, it would be the second gaming facility in Suffolk County, where Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino opened in Islandia in 2017. Dubbed Shinnecock Casino Hamptons, it would be what’s known as a class II gaming facility — as approved last summer by the National Indian Gaming Commission — meaning that like Jake’s 58, there would only be slot machines and electronically controlled table games, but no live dealers.
The tribe said it hopes this will be the first of an unspecified number of casinos it operates, including some not on its reservation. It did not disclose the revenue the casino is anticipated to generate, although it is expected to significantly improve the tribe’s finances.
Environmental impact and traffic studies are pending. The Shinnecock is working with Tri State Partners to assist with construction and operation of the casino.
“Over the past several years we have witnessed the suffering of the Shinnecock Nation and also seen the opportunity to lift their people from the poverty they currently live in,” said Tri State Partner and Managing Member Jack Morris. “This will be a property Long Island residents will enjoy visiting, while enabling the Shinnecock Nation to take advantage of opportunities other members of Native American nations have harnessed.”