Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's Caused the Apparent Rift between Detroit Casino Syndicator Michael Malik and Shinnecock Lance Gumbs; and Who's Being Enriched by Malik?

Michael J. Malik, Sr.,
controversial co-founder,
Gateway Casino Resorts, L.L.C.
A News Day article reporting on the Shinnecock Indian Nation's rejection of a new contract with Detroit-based Gateway Casino Resorts and its co-founder Michael J. Malk, Sr., includes the following:
"Gateway needs to understand that they are not going to control our tribe," said Lance Gumbs, a former tribal trustee who voted against the pact.
During the last decade Lance Gumbs, then a trustee of the Shinnecock Indian Nation was one of those out front on efforts to gain Federal Recognition and pursue casino development.  However, in an unprecedented run-off earlier this year, Gumbs was ousted as Trustee by Fred Bess, a former Trustee. It's been reported that Bess is seen by some members of the Tribe as a tool of casino syndicator Malik.

Had Gumbs been a perceived as useful to Detroit casino syndicator Michael Malik, it's likely that Malik would have helped to ensure Gumbs remained in a leadership role.  However, had Gumbs fallen out of favor with Malik, it's likely Malik or his agents would have worked to replace Gumbs as trustee.

There's some suggestion that among other things, Gumbs believes the Shinnecock should undertake casino development closer to its Long Island Reservation.  Malik apparently wants a site closer to Manhattan.  A recent Shinnecock gaming update circulated included artist's renderings of a mega casino-entertainment development labeled "Governor's Island."

This past week, it's come to light that a war has been brewing among those on the Shinnecock's Long Island reservation.  And now it's clear that Gumbs was among those who stood against the Tribe signing a new go-forward contract with Malik's syndicate Gateway Casino Resorts, LLC, despite that Malik and fellow investors may have spent as much as $40 million helping the Shinnecock receive Federal Recognition and advancing schemes for casinos.  Last night, Shinnecock tribal members voted 121 to 153 against continuing the partnership with Malik's Gateway.

Lance R. Gumbs
tribal leader,
Shinnecock Indian Nation
That Malik has apparently been funneling payments to as many as 12 members of the Shinnecock Nation, is one of the things that reportedly caused some among the Shinnecock to distrust and be suspicious of Malik. Some individuals have been treated to trips out of state on Malik's personal G4 aircraft. Nearly 600 members of the tribe live on the reservation and hundreds more are enrolled as members.
  • Why is Gumbs no longer a Shinnecock Nation Trustee?  What went on behind the scenes of the last election?
  • Was Gumbs once the recipient of payments from Malik and then suddenly cut-off?
  • If a rift occurred between Gumbs and Malik, what else was that about?
  • Since Malik succeeded convicted felon Ivy Ong as the Tribe's partner, who has received payments, gifts, trips, honorariums or other enrichment from Malik, his affiliates or agents?  
  • What roles do those individuals play, or have they played, with the Tribe?  
  • How is paying off certain members of the Shinnecock Nation different than the payola Malik's one-time MotorCity Casino partner Herb Strather funneled to members of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe via its one-time Chair Glenn Marshall?
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