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Good news, gambling addicts with houses in the Hamptons! The Shinnecock Indian Nation is one step closer towards gaining official recognition from the federal government, a designation that would permit the tribe to open a casino. In Southampton. And they've already reached out to Gov. David Paterson to get the ball rolling!

Per the Times:

"Once federally recognized, they would immediately have the right to build a 'Class II' casino on their 800-acre reservation, a designation that would mean they could have thousands of video slot machines, but no table games. Like other tribes, the Shinnecocks see a casino as a way to lift their members out of poverty, a condition highlighted by the tribe's proximity to the extravagance of the Hamptons."

It may be hard to argue that the Hamptons are all that extravagant these days given the state of the economy. Then again, the casino won't be built for a few years, which should give Hamptons residents plenty of time to restore their fortunes only to lose them again thanks to bank of Wheel of Fortune slot machines as far as the eye can see.

Shinnecock Indians Contemplate a Casino as They Close In on Federal Recognition [NYT]