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Seneca seek Congressional help for $1.3 billion Catskills casino

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June 3, 2009

The Seneca Nation recently unveiled a $1.3 billion proposal to build a casino complex in the Catskills resort area, about a 90-minute drive from New York City. Now, in an unusual move, the Seneca are taking their case directly to Congress. They want Congress to place the tribe's proposed Catskills casino site into "restricted fee status," which will automatically make it tribal territory.

"This is the first big step in our goal of bringing Class III gaming to the Catskills," said Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder.

If successful, the Seneca hope to start construction later this year. The site is 63 acres off I-86 near the Catskills town of Thompson. It will be a massive, two million-square-foot casino resort built out over multiple stages, and will include 6,000 slot machines, 120 table games, 30 poker tables and a race book center. There will also be a 1,500-room hotel and spa, 12 restaurants, high-end retail shops, a 5,000 square foot arena and 100,000 square feet of banquet space.

The Seneca have already signed an agreement with county officials pledging more than $35m in payments over a six-year period.

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