“As Governor Paterson has said, Federal acknowledgement of the Shinnecock Indian Nation was long overdue. Governor Paterson looks forward to continued government-to-government relations with the Nation.
“However, the New York State Division of the Lottery has received $1 million mandatory entry fees from six potential bidders to develop and operate a video gaming facility at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. The Shinnecock Indian Nation is not one of them and therefore is ineligible to bid on the project. Also, there is no authorization for gaming of any kind at Belmont.
“Federal recognition of the Shinnecock Indian Nation should not cause concern for the potential bidders at Aqueduct, since the State will have significant approval authority for any future gaming venues, including the terms of any such agreement. The State intends to protect its financial interest in existing and planned facilities. The Shinnecock Indian Nation has numerous hurdles to clear be before it could develop a casino off-reservation and we do not expect that it will have a major impact on the Aqueduct casino.”