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A casino could be coming to the Hamptons in the near future. Washington indicated yesterday that it's prepared to grant official recognitition to the Shinnecock Indian Nation, a tribe that occupies 800 acres in Southampton, "not far from some of Long Island's wealthiest communities and expansive celebrity-owned estates."

Once formal approval comes down from on high, which should take at least six months, the tribe will have the right to set up a Class II casino. (That means slot machines are okay, but table games are no. Sorry, poker fans!)

But it's also possible the casino won't be located in Southampton at all and locals like Calvin Klein and Henry Kravis will have to drive a bit to lose fistfuls of quarters. The tribe has indicated they'd prefer to set up a full-fledged casino—a Class III, as they say in the gambling biz—in which case Shinnecock leaders would have to reach an agreement with state and federal authorities, and the casino would probably be located elsewhere on Long Island, possibly at the Aqueduct or Belmont racetracks.

That would be awfully convenient, wouldn't it? It's so hard to find a place where you can play blackjack and bet on ponies at the same time nowadays!

U.S. Eases Way to Recognition for Shinnecock [NYT]
Bingo! for LI tribe — could get casino [NYP]
Previously: Southampton Casino One Step Closer to Reality [Cityfile]