Shinnecock Nation: Hamptons casino construction to begin this summer

The Shinnecock Indian Nation on Wednesday announced plans for the casino it intends to build on its territory on the Eastern end of Long Island, which will be called Shinnecock Casino Hamptons.

Video Transcript

- Think of the Hamptons and perhaps a ginormous casino isn't the first thing you think about for the East End of Long Island and all those spectacular beaches. But if the Shinnecock Indian nation has its way, on land it owns, the Hamptons will get its first ever casino in Southampton. The announcement today, now brace for any blowback. Here's Long Island reporter Kristin Thorne.

BRYAN POLITE: We are here today to announce the Shinnecock nation and its people continue to fight to exist. We are still here.

KRISTIN THORNE: In a rare public appearance, members of the Shinnecock Indian nation announced today that this summer they will begin construction on a casino on their property in Southampton.

BRYAN POLITE: For over 350 years, others have profited from our name while we must fight to develop economic projects on our own sovereign territory.

KRISTIN THORNE: The casino called Shinnecock Casino Hamptons will be 76,000 square feet. It will house 1,000 video lottery terminals and 30 table games. Officials with the nation say it will create 300 to 400 jobs, not just for the Shinnecock people, but for local Long Islanders as well.

BRYAN POLITE: The profits from this project will be utilized to fund the Shinnecock nation's social programs, government, and improve the quality of living for all Shinnecock tribal members.

KRISTIN THORNE: The Indian nation has been flexing its muscle recently. They built 265-foot tall digital billboards, which they call monuments, on the side of Sunrise Highway at the entrance to the Hamptons. The advertising revenue goes to the nation. The outside community and local leaders tried desperately to stop them from doing it. In terms of a casino, that's something the Shinnecock nation has been trying for the last 20 years to build on Long Island, but never on their own property.

JAY SCHNEIDERMAN: This is the one spot where they can do it without needing anybody's permission.

Southampton town supervisor Jay Schneiderman says he's worried about the traffic and environmental impacts of the casino, but there is little he can do about it.

JAY SCHNEIDERMAN: We are going to look to see if we can intervene in the federal process, particularly when it comes to assessing the impacts, the environmental and the traffic impacts.

KRISTIN THORNE: The Shinnecock nation says the casino should open in the spring or summer of 2023.