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News stories tagged with "gambling"

Robert Odawi Porter at his desk.
Robert Odawi Porter at his desk.

Seneca president redefining native leadership

This week, we're going to take a look around Indian Country in New York. Taxing native smoke shops have grabbed headlines lately. But we're going to look deeper at some of the political, economic, and social trends shaping New York's native tribes and nations.

Today, the Seneca Nation, south of Buffalo. Casinos and tobacco sales have turned it from an empoverished territory to one of the top ten employer in western New York.

The Nation's new president, Robert Odawi Porter, has taken a lead role in negotiating native issues with the Cuomo Administration.

Porter wants the Senecas to go beyond smoke shops and slot machines. He's a Harvard-educated lawyer and academic. And he wants to recast one of the darkest moments of the Seneca people into an economic boon. David Sommerstein has this profile.  Go to full article
We are seeing a new day, hopefully what will be a catalyst for bringing many of these disputes to closure.

Catskill casino OKed - for Wisconsin tribe

When Eliot Spitzer was Governor, New York's legislature passed a law approving up to three casinos to be built in the Catskills Mountains, a day trip from New York City. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe was thought to be odds-on favorites for one.

But yesterday, it was a little known tribe from Wisconsin inking a deal with Governor David Paterson for a Catskills casino.  Go to full article
Harness track in Saratoga Springs (File photo)
Harness track in Saratoga Springs (File photo)

To fund sport, harness racing ups its bet on "racino" style gambling

It's harness racing season once again here in the North Country. At county affairs across the region, local breeders and racers are competing in a sport that's been popular here since the 1800s.

Meanwhile, in Saratoga Springs, the sport's backers are once again trying to expand the amount of slot-machine gambling that goes on at the harness racing track.

Saratoga Gaming and Raceway hopes to keep its so-called "racino" open until 4 am. According to the Albany Times-Union, local government officials oppose the change.

The request is now being reviewed by the state Lottery Division.

This link between harness racing and slot-machine gambling has been controversial for years. Brian Mann's report on the debate first aired in the summer of 2008.  Go to full article

Comptroller fears NYRA could soon run out of money

The state's top finance official says the New York Racing Authority is once again facing a financial crisis. NYRA already got a $250 million loan from the state to operate racetracks, including Saratoga Raceway, this summer. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says he's putting auditors on site there to monitor NYRA's operations.
An audit shows the NYRA faces insolvencey unless it cuts more spending and starts getting revenue from a casino at Aqueduct that doesn't exist yet.

Karen DeWitt reports.racetrack.  Go to full article
Scott van Laer's breeding farm in the Adirondacks has been threatened by the state crisis (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Scott van Laer's breeding farm in the Adirondacks has been threatened by the state crisis (Photos: Brian Mann)

Bungling by industry and state leaders threatens Saratoga horse racing season

The budget crisis in Albany is threatening to derail yet another major upstate New York tourist draw.

Already this year, Governor David Paterson raised the possibility of cutting all funding for the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid and shutting down state campgrounds.

Now the state's political gridlock could force horseracing officials to cancel or scale back this year's summer meet at the track in Saratoga Springs.

Even the sport's biggest fans say New York's thoroughbred industry is in serious trouble.

As Brian Mann reports, some of that pain is being felt here in the North Country.  Go to full article
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source:  Brian Mann)
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source: Brian Mann)

North Country harness racing tradition gambles on a future

The North Country has a big presence in horse-racing, from a top thoroughbred breeder in Ray Brook, to the group of friends in Sackets Harbor who raced into the record book with a horse named Funny Cide. Their success on contemporary tracks draws from a long tradition of racing in the region. This week, we'll wrap up the summer by telling some of their stories. For many fans in the North Country, the sport of choice has always been harness racing. That means sturdy, standard-bred horses pulling drivers in stripped-down racing carts. You can still see cutthroat competitions at county fairs from Malone to Westport. But harness racing has fallen on hard times in recent years. As Brian Mann reports, new efforts to bring the sport back have meant bigger purses and also new controversy.  Go to full article

Mohawks sue over casino ruling

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is suing the federal government over its decision against a Mohawk casino in the Catskills. The Department of the Interior ruled earlier this month that the site is too far from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Feds deny Mohawk Catskills casino

The federal government has rejected the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe's plan to build a $600 million casino resort in the Catskills. In a letter sent late Friday, the Department of the Interior ruled the 350-mile distance between the planned casino and the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena was too far. The DOI said too many residents could leave the reservation in search of a job at the proposed casino and cause "serious and far-reaching implications for the remaining tribal community." The Mohawks having been working for more than a decade to build a casino in the Catskills. The proposed resort had the support of Governor Spitzer. It was expected to create 3,000 jobs for the region and generate millions of dollars in revenue for New York. St. Regis Mohawk tribal chiefs harshly criticized the decision. A press release called it "arbitrary, capricious, and laughable". Chief Lorraine White said it was "a brazen paternalistic assault against all of Indian Country." David Sommerstein spoke with Chief White this morning. She explained why she called the decision a "paternalistic assault."  Go to full article

Senate leaves Albany without extending racing authority

The New York State Senate has adjourned for the year, without passing a bill to extend the state's horse-racing industry franchise. The Senate Leader, Joe Bruno, expressed disappointment and blamed the Assembly for the failure. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Bruno blames Democrats for handicapping horse racing

The leader of the State Senate says time is running out on the state's horse racing franchise. It expires at the end of the month. And Joe Bruno accuses Democrats of dragging their feet on the issue. From Albany, Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

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