Big, surprising news out of Sullivan County this afternoon. The hamlet of Bridgeville, which has been the focus of several Indian tribes' casino dreams for years, just got closer to becoming the home of a major gaming resort.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans, a Wisconsin-based tribe which has been working to put a casino in Sullivan County for over a decade, is expected to sign a deal with the state of New York that will pave the way to do just that, according to the New York Times, the Albany Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog, and Bloodhorse.com.
Both the tribe and Governor David Paterson have been keeping the potential deal very quiet, but today, the town supervisor of Thompson blew the lid off the deal completely. From the NYT:
“We’re confident,” said Anthony P. Cellini, the supervisor of Thompson, about 90 miles northwest of New York City, where the casino would be located. “It means jobs,” Mr. Cellini added. “We were once the Northeast’s tourism capital, and this could once again bring that back to this area.” Mr. Cellini said state and federal officials, including the governor and tribal officials, were planning to gather in the Catskills on Monday for a ceremony. The Paterson administration declined comment on Tuesday afternoon.
Cellini told the Capitol Confidential blog that the governor will announce the deal next Monday during an appearance in Thompson:
The tribe has been planning a Mohegan Sun-style casino on 333 acres in Bridgeville, a hamlet within Thompson. Anthony Cellini, the Thompson supervisor, said Paterson has planned to visit on Monday to announce the deal — a gaming compact and land claim settlement on acreage in Madison County that the tribe has argued was improperly taken from it some 200 years ago.
For a glimpse of what Bridgeville's new casino could look like, the River Reporter has an artist's rendering.