Sullivan County approves agreement for Seneca Catskill Casino project
By Staff reports
Story Published: Jun 1, 2009
Story Updated: Jun 1, 2009
MONTICELLO, N.Y. – The Sullivan County Legislature recently approved an agreement with the Seneca Nation of Indians, a federally recognized sovereign Indian nation, the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corporation, a wholly-owned corporate entity of the Nation and Sullivan County to develop a Class III gaming casino on 63 acres of land at exit 107 off Route 17 (Interstate 86) in the Town of Thompson.
In consideration of the undertakings of the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corporation, Sullivan County has agreed to actively work with and assist the nation to obtain any and all approvals required for the project from governmental entities. The county will also enter into agreements with locally affected entities to mitigate impacts of the project.
Under the agreement, the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corporation will pay annual local impact payments in accordance with the following schedule: Years one and two prior to hotel completion, $15.5 million, years three through seven subsequent to hotel completion, $20 million.
John Paulsen, CEO of Rotate Black, Inc., the company that will manage and operate the casino and hotel, thanked Sullivan County officials for their support of the Seneca Catskill Mountains Hotel and Casino project.
“The Seneca Nation and I want to personally thank Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis, Legislature Minority Leader Leni Binder, County Attorney Sam Yasgur, County Manager David Fanslau and Sullivan County legislators Alan Sorensen, Jodi Goodman, Ron Hiatt, David Sager, Frank Armstrong, Elwin Wood and Kathleen LaBuda for their support in this important project to assist in the revitalization of Sullivan County.”
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther told Paulsen during a separate meeting that she will take the message of Sullivan County’s support to Governor David Paterson for his needed approval of project.
Once fully completed, the Seneca Catskill Mountains Hotel and Casino will include two million square feet of space, 6,000 slot machines, 120 table games, 30 poker tables, race book center, a 1,500-room hotel and spa, 12 restaurants, high-end retail space, a 5,000-seat arena and 100,000 square feet of banquet space and an arcade center.
Rotate Black projects that the Seneca Catskill Mountains Hotel and Casino will generate approximately $160 million in exclusivity fees to state and local governments, which is greater than what is currently being paid state and local governments under the nation’s existing Class III compact for its three western New York casinos. No other Indian nation in the state provides such sizable payments to state and local governments.
The Seneca’s Tribal Council established the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corp. as its development arm for this venture.
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The new Seneca Casino will be about one hundred and eight five (185) miles from Uncasville, Connecticut. It is sixty (60) miles from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania. It is about sixty six (66) miles from Yonkers Raceway, in Yonkers, New York, which has video slot machines. More competition, and not any solution on how to increase our (the Mohegan Tribe) profitablity. Has the Tribal Council failed us again? Do they continue to fail us over and over again? What do you think?