An intra-tribal war has been brewing on the Shinnecock Indian Nation's Long Island reservation. Members are split about their commitment to move forward and develop gambling halls in New York in partnership with controversial Detroiter Michael J. Malik, Sr. and his fellow investors. Earlier this week, Tribal Members were notified of an election that would be held today among members.
Voters were asked to cast ballots giving a thumbs up or thumbs down on approval for the Nation's Trustees to sign a new contract with Detroit-based Gateway Casino Resorts and its co-owner Michael J. Malik, Sr.. Among other things the agreements would have governed the future development, management and operation of up to three gambling halls most likley located somewhere on New York's Long Island.In addition to paying back development costs Gateway has incurred, Malik (Gateway) would have received 28% of all revenues for a period of 7-years and have management responsibility for any casinos. (Term Sheet)
Officials of the Shinnecock Nation Gaming Authority had agreed to the Term Sheet in June but needed the full tribes backing. The votes have been counted and Michael Malik's Gateway Casino Resorts is the loser -- for now anyway. Given that Malik's casino syndicate has for almost a decade bankrolled millions in legal, lobbying and PR activities and spent millions more making political campaign contributions to support the Nation's efforts to secure Federal Recognition and pave the way for casino development, it's unlikely that Malik and his fellow syndicate organizer Marian Ilitch will walk away from the Shinnecock without a fight to hang onto the franchise.