Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Search News Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Search Our Archive of Gaming Articles 

Alpha's Monticello Casino Project Receives Favorable Determination

7 April 2000

NEW YORK, N.Y., April 7 (Press Release) - Alpha Hospitality Corporation (NASDAQ - ALHY; BSE - ALH; WARRANTS: OTCBB - ALHYW; BSE - ALHW) (the "Company") announced today the favorable two-part determination from the United States Department of the Interior's Office of the Secretary regarding the taking into trust of a 29-acre site at the Monticello Raceway (the "Raceway") for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe's (the "Tribe") gaming project in Monticello, New York.

In a letter dated April 6, 2000 to Governor George E. Pataki, the Department of the Interior reported in its Findings of Fact, "that a gaming facility on the land would be in the best interest of the Tribe and its members and would not be detrimental to the surrounding community." This determination is an important milestone in the governmental approval process for the development of a planned major gaming/entertainment complex at the Raceway.

The planned gaming facility will initially feature 160,000 square feet of gaming space accommodating approximately 3,000 video lottery terminal games, 200 gaming tables and areas for both poker and bingo. Additionally, there will be a 2,500 vehicle multi-level parking garage, along with surface parking for 2,300 vehicles. A facility of this magnitude would create thousands of jobs, including employment opportunities in gaming, banking, food and beverage, maintenance, administration, electronics, accounting and non-technical areas. Such a casino is expected to generate demand for up to 350,000 room nights annually for lodging in the area.

A Company spokesman explained, "If Governor Pataki concurs with the determination by the Department of the Interior, the land can be acquired by the United States in trust for the Tribe for gaming purposes, provided all the requirements of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' land acquisition regulations are complied with." In a press release dated March 14, 2000, Governor Pataki stated, "As Governor, I have made it clear that I believe casinos in traditional resort areas like the Catskills and Western New York will provide an important boost for the local economy."

New York is currently one of the largest feeder states to existing casino venues in Atlantic City, Connecticut, Nevada and Niagara Falls, Canada. Studies conducted by New York State indicate that approximately $3 billion per year in gaming revenue is derived from New York residents at these locations.

Under a proposed revenue sharing arrangement between the Tribe and the State of New York, the State could potentially receive significant annual revenues from the casino.

With the Governor's concurrence, the Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs will work with the Tribe to finalize all agreements and documents required to acquire the 29-acre parcel from its owner, Catskill Development, LLC ("Catskill"). Additionally, the National Indian Gaming Commission will complete its review of the casino's underlying management agreement and related documents between the Tribe, Catskill and Alpha Monticello, Inc. ("Alpha Monticello"), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. Upon approval of the agreements by these two agencies and the land being taken into trust, the key governmental approvals necessary to operate the casino will have been completed.

Under the proposed management agreement, the manager, Mohawk Management, L.L.C. (jointly owned by Catskill and Alpha Monticello), would receive a management fee of 35 percent of net revenues. A prior disagreement between Alpha Monticello and Catskill has been tentatively settled, subject to the execution of final agreements by all parties. Under the proposed settlement, Alpha Monticello will receive in excess of 40 percent of the fees paid to Mohawk Management. Additionally, the Company will participate in certain development fees, and will hold a 25 percent interest in the operation of the Raceway, as well as a minority interest in the remaining undeveloped property at the Raceway.

A Company spokesman said, "This project has the potential to dramatically change the economy in the Catskill Region by creating new jobs, new tourism opportunities and new spending in the area."

< Gaming News