Monday, June 23, 2008

Shinnecock make claims of big economic windfall from proposed Long Island casino

From the Weblog of Legislator Wayne Horsley 5.14.08:

Shinnecock Indian Nation Claims Gaming Could Equal 10,200 Jobs, $838 Million in Local Employment, and $4.2 Billion in New Revenue

Hauppauge, New York – Today, Suffolk County Legislator Wayne R. Horsley announced the findings of a series of economic reports presented by the Shinnecock Indian Nation Gaming Authority and the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis to the Legislature’s Economic Development committee.

The Shinnecock Indian Nation reports revealed a staggering influx of new jobs and revenues would result to the local economy if a Native American gaming establishment were built on Long Island. The research demonstrated that 10, 200 in new jobs, $445 million in new local employment salaries, and over $2.5 billion in new revenue to local and state governments would result. Horsley noted that though a controversial topic in the past, such a proposal merits at least cursory examination as the local economy continues to soften.

“As the local economy continues to soften, we thought it would be worth while to examine the economic benefits of a gaming establishment here on Long Island. After all, we currently contribute to the staggering $234 million in estimated out-of-state gaming funds enjoyed by Connecticut State residents. So the question is why not take a hard look at what the benefits would be if we stopped riding the ferry and started spending our money here on Long Island. In our economy.”

The Shinnecock Nation detailed the employment impact of a sizable gaming establishment: 303 in wholesale and warehouse employment, 654 in retail trade employment, 113 new information service positions, 347 in finance and real estate employment, 369 in professional, scientific, and technical services employment, 453 in management and administrative support jobs, a whopping 820 new education, health care and social assistance positions, and 529 careers in arts, recreation and other services.

A grand total of 3, 817 in non-gaming employment would be produced as a secondary benefit of a Shinnecock Indian Nation gaming establishment. Local purchases made by the gaming establishment would also result in $581 million in new revenue to existing local businesses.

Horsley concluded by saying of the Shinnecock Indian Nation Proposal, “There is no shovel in the ground, and there remains many, many obstacles to such a proposal. So NIMBY’s needn’t be alarmed. However, as our sales tax revenue continues to soften and the local economy dwindles it seems only logical that our committee examine any proposal that may bring as much as $4.2 billion to the Long Island economy.”

Horsley's Official Press Release

This proposal by the Shinnecock Indian Nationa to build a casino in The Hamptons on New York's Long Island is backed by Detroit-based Gateway Casino Resorts -- an enterprise created by casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. and Mrs. Marian Ilitch. She is the wife of Mike Ilitch who owns the Detroit Tigers. She owns Detroit's MotorCity Casino. Mike and Marian Ilitch are co-founders of Little Caesars Pizza and they also own the Detroit Red Wings.

The so-called findings of the economic analysis mentioned in Horsley's blog suggest the casino resort project being proposed by Gateway (Ilitch/Malik) and the Shinnecock tribe would be much larger than previously disclosed.

Report in Suffolk Life on news related to the study.

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