Cayuga Indian Nation is among the tribal nations of New York State seeking ways in which it could improve the gaming operation it oversees and make it a more diversified one. In a recent ruling, the United States Department of the Interior stated that its application for tax-exempt trust will have to be denied. A situation occurring earlier this year has led to this decision.
Back in February this year, the Cayuga Nation Police Department managed to bulldoze buildings to the likes of a daycare center, a schoolhouse, as well as a store. They were all overseen by the Unity Council and a previous dispute between Cayuga Indian Nation leader Clint Halftown and the faction was the cause for it.
Class II Bingo Expansion
However, these violent acts ended up tilting the scales when it comes to the application for having land taken into a trust that was filed about 15 years ago. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney pointed out that the ultimate ruling was impacted by the happening this February and the outcome of the situation, with destroyed buildings in the area.
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The ruling also made it clear that giving a green light at this point would not be beneficial for the tribal nation, as it could aggravate its already complicated relationship with its neighbors. Mr. Halftown had the chance to express his position on the subject and the ruling, and he made it clear it was “arbitrary and irrational”. He also made it clear that racial conflicts within the community should not influence the decisions of the US Interior Department.
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When it comes to the land in question, it amounts to some 114 acres located within its Cayuga County. The tribal nation wanted to put it into federal tax-exempt trust with the help of an application filed about 15 years ago. Cayuga Indian Nation aimed to introduce gambling expansion that could improve its financial state and support the tribal community.
Most Native American tribes want to manage their own tribal casino venue that could provide both employment for tribe members and gaming revenue supporting various tribal operations and projects. Lakeside Entertainment is the bingo facility overseen by the tribal nation, located in Union Springs. This venue is considered a Class II gaming location which has limited the number of gaming offerings and their diversity.
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There are slot machines powered by Everi available and players from near and far can enjoy nearly 86 gaming devices up for grabs there. Cayuga Indian Nation sought to have the land in question converted into sovereign tribal territory that could then facilitate the implementation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the establishment of a tribal casino venue. Such expansion would have improved gaming revenue down the road.
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Lakeside Entertainment, one of the tribal casino venues of New York State recently became the first gaming venue in the region to reopen. The capacity of the venue has been brought down to 31 individuals at all times, meaning that some players would have to wait for their turn to place a bet or entertain themselves with a premium slot game.