Catskills Casino Deal Nixed by Feds

The proposed Native American casino that was to be built upstate has been rejected by the Department of the Interior. Former Governor Paterson had agreed to the casino as a way to revitalize the Catskills.

The $560 million project would have been run by the Stockbridge-Munsees, a Wisconsin-based tribe that claimed historical ties to land in New York.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Department said the compact was rejected because it violated provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Specifically, it stipulated the tribe could only conduct gaming and related activities on the proposed site.

The spokeswoman added that the tribe and the state could negotiate a new compact and submit it for review under the same process.

The Oneida Indians, who run an existing casino near Syracuse, applauded the rejection of the proposal, while the Stockbridge-Munsees are calling the federal government's action "an 11th hour about face that defies earlier assurances."