Sullivan County Casino Plans Denied By Feds

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poker.jpgThe federal government rejected plans for two casinos in the Catskill Mountains on Friday, saying that the reservations of the two tribes that submitted the plans were too far from where the casinos would be built, in Monticello and in the town of Thompson. The decision was a major setback in the 30-year effort to bring gambling to Sullivan County.

One of the proposed casinos, at Monticello Raceway, received the support of Gov. Eliot Spitzer and was expected to attract six million visitors a year, generate 3,000 jobs and provide the state with an estimated $100 million a year. But the plans faced intense opposition from the NRDC and other environmental groups, and required the final approval of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

Mr. Kempthorne, who has long opposed Indian casinos on nonreservation land, said in his letters that the casinos would be too far away to offer jobs to tribal residents and that forcing residents to relocate would hurt the reservations.

In a statement released Friday night, the NRDC called the decision a major victory and said the casinos would have burdened the Catskills with pollution, traffic congestion and sprawl.

Representative Maurice Hinchey, D-NY who has strongly supported the proposed casinos, said proponents of the plans would not give up. “It is clear that the next opportunity for these proposed casinos to move forward and be objectively evaluated will be under a new administration by a different secretary of the interior, who under current law has the final determination in this matter at this time,” he said in a statement.

(Source: NY Times)


13 COMMENTS

  1. Good decision. Casinos do bring a bad element. Also, unfortunately they bring a very bad temptation to some of our people. We are much better without them.

  2. I don’t really see what the problem is. It would help the economy tremendously. If frum Jews have a problem with it then they shouldn’t go. It’s not like a non proper advertisement which is forced in front of your eyes. If you don’t like it, don’t go.

  3. Yeshivish Hocker:

    Gambling is addictive for some people. The problem is that many frum people would go there for a little bit of entertainment and some percentage of those would become addicted eventually destroying themselves and their families. Maybe (definitely) we should all exercise restraint, but there are all sorts of bad things out there for which if we would just exercise restraint, we wouldn’t have a problem. It would be best to not have a toevah available for which we need to exercise restraint.

  4. Yeshiva Hocker is not aware that the makeup of the entire vregion would change. Even if you are right are we not obligated to protect at all cost at least our children (from 1 month to children of 25 years) from exposure and the opportunity from which they just might not be smart enough to avoid? A new vibrant hangout for our kids?

  5. amhaaretz,

    I hate to break it to you, but Monticello Raceway is already a hangout for any camp staff member looking for something to do on their off day. Another couple of casinos really wont make a difference to the jewish attendance levels

  6. ToHighSchool, You are mistaken. Every new bad place that opens, is an additional Yetzer Hora that we have to work harder to avoid. Better not to bring additional Yetzer Horas to the neighborhood. Especially the big flashy casinos they wanted to open.