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Las Vegas Style Casino in Catskills

Efforts are on for a Las Vegas style casino in the Catskills. This is a $600 million project of the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Tribe. It is proposed to be built on the once thriving resort area known as the Borscht Belt.
After over 10 years of delay by tribal recriminations and opposition form Atlantic City gambling, it was approved by the Interior Department on 14th December.
The supporters claim that the casino will provide job to thousands and bring in tens of millions of dollars as revenue. The casino in Monticello would attract around 6.1 million visitors every year. It is estimated that it would account for 15 percent of the Atlantic City gambling revenues.
James E. Cason, the associate deputy secretary for Indian Affairs at the Interior Department said that the anticipated casino on 30 acres next to the racetrack outside Monticello in Sullivan County will not have a major impact on the environment. He also added that he will be sending a motive to Gov. George E. Pataki requesting him to correspond. Gov. George E. Pataki has been supporting Indian casinos in Catskills for long.
The racetrack was under ownership of Empire Resorts and is currently the site of Monticello Gaming Raceway. It features above 1,500 electronic gaming machines. The players can wager from pennies to $10. There is a similar gaming centre north of New York City at Yonkers Raceway. It is about 85 miles southeast of Monticello.
The casino will now be expanded to include table games like blackjack, roulette, craps and the more traditional slot machines as well as the current electronic ones.
They will have to face the lawsuits by environmentalists and then will also have to gambling compact and revenue-sharing agreement before things become a reality.
The tribe has already agreed to provide the state with 25 percent of the income from the slot machine revenues. They have also agreed to provide Sullivan County and Monticello with $20 million every year.
With the construction of Monticello Casino, this will turn out to be the fourth off-reservation casino established since the National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed in 1988.
Prof. I. Nelson Rose of Whittier Law School in California who is an expert on Indian gambling said that the Mohawk Casino might be the last off-reservation casino.

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