The Shinnecock Nation says it will build a casino on its Southampton reservation.
Newsday reported that in developing the property, the tribe will work with Jack Morris, principal of Tri State Partners. An announcement is expected on Wednesday. Tri State has worked on a casino project with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, owner of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino chain.
The Shinnecock Nation and Morris have been in talks since at least September. Hard Rock International said in a statement that it will have no role in the Southampton project.
The U.S. National Indian Gaming Commission approved a class 2 facility, allowing for bingo parlors and video lottery terminals. It would be the second casino in Suffolk County, following Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia, which opened in 2017.
The Shinnecock Nation has attempted to open casinos several times, but those efforts were repeatedly halted.
The casino is part of the tribe’s attempts to increase revenue, according to the report. It recently constructed a second 61-foot digital billboard/monument on Sunrise Highway, with advertising revenue going to the tribe. It also plans to open a gas station and convenience store on tribal land near the signs in the coming year, along with a medical cannabis facility that will be located on its 900-acre reservation in Southampton.
Members of the Shinnecock Nation have opposed other development efforts. In December, a group of Shinnecock members protested the construction of the Hampton Boathouses townhouse project, calling it a “stain” on the area’s heritage. The project will bring 37 units to Hampton Bays, but members of the Shinnecock Nation say it will contribute to the deterioration of natural resources in the area. [Newsday] — Sasha Jones