Monday, March 01, 2010

Detroit Casino Interests Behind Shinnecock Bid for Casino at Belmont Park & Race Track

Shinnecock Indians, Gateway Casino Resorts team up in bid for Long Island casino
NY Daily News

By William Sherman

The Shinnecock Indians and their super-rich partners have spent more than $1 million to lobby state and federal lawmakers to let them build a "world-class" casino on Long Island - possibly at Belmont Park racetrack.

The impoverished Southampton, L.I., tribe doesn't have the money for the project, but their backers and development partners, Gateway, has plenty to invest.

Gateway's principals are Marion Illitch who, with her husband, owns the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, and Little Caesar's national pizza chain, and wealthy gambling czar Mike Malik.

Gateway's only stated business purpose is the Shinnecock casino enterprise, and Malik has made significant contributions to politicians who could turn the plan into reality.

The casino needs the approval of the governor, the Legislature and Congress.

The partners have hired Mercury Public Affairs, whose star lobbyist is Rodney Capel, a former top official in the state Democratic Party. Capel has also worked for Sen. Chuck SchumerRep. Charles Rangel, and Assemblyman Herman (Denny) Farrell.

Discussions on the project, some as recent as two weeks ago, have been held with Gov. Paterson, major state leaders, Rangel, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Schumer's chief of staff, Martin Brennan, said Capel, whose firm has been paid more than $200,000.

"We're hoping to get quick resolution on a site location that's good for the state, good for the specific locality and the people there, and good for the tribe," Capel said.

Tribal leader Fred Bess said, "We're looking to build a world-class facility" which would include a full complement of table games like blackjack and poker, plus slot machines, a big hotel and Vegas-style entertainment.

A casino would be a billion-dollar jackpot for the 1,066-member tribe whose desolate reservation is near Southampton's luxurious mansions.

The Shinnecock enterprise is the latest entry in the quest for the big pot of gold - the billions New Yorkers would gamble at locations more convenient than Atlantic City orFoxwoods in Connecticut.
Two weeks ago, tribal leaders and Capel met with Paterson, state Senate presidentMalcolm Smith, and Sen. John Sampson in Albany, Capel said.

"We don't think getting the approvals will be that hard," said Capel.

On the federal level, Gateway has paid Wheat Government Relations, a highly influential lobbying firm, more than $1 million in the last six years.

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Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? 10.09.06 ● Marian Ilitch #1 on "25 Most Powerful People" to Watch 2006” global gaming business o1.oo.o5 ● My Kingdom for a Casino Forbes 05.08.06 ● Big Lagoon’s casino dream awakens north coast journal 07.28.05 ● Shinnecocks launch legal claim to Hamptons land 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles 10.23.02 ● Vanderbilt gets short straw in negotiations for a casino Lansing Journal 10.06.02 ● Indians aim to drive family from tribe in vicious dispute san diego union tribune 04.09.00 ●Malik owns 2000 Michigan Quarter Horse of the Year 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E 04.25.99 Investors have troubled histories las vegas review journal 04.27.99 ● Investor served probation for domestic assault on 12 year old boy 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... 03.17.97

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