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Court banned Mohawks to run casinos in NYC 2003-06-13
Big news for the Indians in Albany! Last week the state's highest court ruled that the Mohawk Indians are not allowed anymore to run their casino in New-York. The contract the Indians have been counting on is the one they signed in the year 1993 with Former Gov. Mario Cuomo and the state's court think it should be secondly confirmed. The state has a reason to believe that the Mohawk Indians received the permit since a certain amount of money has been set aside for the state Racing and Wagering Board which chose to focus in that goal. For now, this is not the main goal anymore and the budget has changed. Three out of four judges have agreed with that conclusionand said that "those enactments are no substitute for approval or total ratification." "There is no governmental permission for state agencies to transmit regulations for the slip of casino gambling," the court said in verdict written by Judge Albert Rosenblatt. "The compacts for that reason have seized the Legislature's power." Even though they thought of approving the former agreement they have chose not to do so. In New-York, as in other countries, the governor can not enter an agreement without a legislative approval and apparently this is the situation which occurred here. At the moment the court refused to refer to the query of whether the casino authorization in 1993 violated the state constitution. Rosenblatt's ruling noted that an additional case, currently before state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi in Albany, is more squarely on the constitutional validity of casinos. However, Judge George Bundy Smith said the Court of Appeals Could and should have cancelled the legitimacy of the Indian casino. "The citizens of the State of New York have came to a decision in New York's Constitution to disallow commercial gambling," Smith wrote. "If the chosen diplomats of the citizens will decide to change that policy, they should start the procedure of improving the Constitution." The casino in subject was originally opened in 1999 near the New York-Canadian border and as a direct result to it's location the comparison between it and the Oneida Indians' sprawling Turning Stone casino did not result well. Lately the Seneca tribe has opened the state's third casino in the Niagara Falls. The approval for the recent casino has been approved together with five more Indian casinos. The Mohawk tribe has contacted a tentative agreement with Gov. George Pataki to open a casino at the former Kutsher's route in the Catskills, probably by the end of this year. The legality of the October 2001 gambling law had also allowed video slot machines to be operated at horse racing tracks and the entrance the multi-state lottery game.
(By Liat)