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Judge Bianco Decides Against the Casino of the Shinnecock Indian Tribe

On November 1st, 2007, stopping a protest by the Shinnecock Indian Tribe for a casino facility located on tribal land in Hampton Bay, a federal judge has decided that the Shinnecock tribe already lost their aboriginal rights to the land during the Colonial period and therefore must comply with town zoning and construction regulations which does not allow casino facilities.

For quite some time now, the tribe has been involved in a court battle with the Town of Southampton, which disregarded the tribe's claim on the land and plans to build a casino facility. The town said that it is not right to build a tribal casino in Southampton as it would cause numerous problems.

After studying the deeds and the evidence from the colonial period, Judge Joseph F. Bianco from the Federal District Court in Central Islip decided that the evidences showed that the tribe loss the aboriginal rights to Westwood, which is a 79 acre land.

Judge Bianco also referred to a decision made by the United States Supreme Court that prohibits building a casino if it would have a disruptive effect in the area. He added that the Shinnecock Tribe also does not have federal recognition and that influence his decision on the matter.

The tribe said that the money from the casino would help alleviate poverty and other related problems in the reservation. Tribal leaders said that they will appeal the case and hope that they can accomplish something with the officials.


11/18/2007 05:42 PM


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