U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear New York gambling case - Wednesday 30th of November 2005

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case filed by a group of antigambling organizations seeking to overturn a 2001 New York state law that authorized the broad expansion of legal gambling in New York.

The move by the nations highest court was the final nail in the coffin for the suit to prevent more Indian tribes from opening casinos in New York.

"The Supreme Courts refusal to hear this case effectively concludes this aspect of the war against the spread of commercialized gambling in this state," said Cornelius Murray, an Albany lawyer representing the antigambling interests.

"Theres nowhere else to go," he said.

The 2001 gambling bill was approved as the state sought new revenues in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The law was the largest expansion of state-sanctioned gambling in New Yorks history.

Murray argued that because casino gambling is prohibited under the state constitution, the Legislature did not have the power to authorize the governor to negotiate compacts with Indian tribes for casino gaming.

That argument was rejected in May by the states highest court, the Court of Appeals, which ruled federal law superseded the state constitution. The federal Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act allows tribes to set up casinos on Indian land.

"Were very pleased with the courts decision to uphold the law, allowing us to continue creating the jobs and spurring the economic development important to people across the state," Pataki spokesman Saleem Cheeks said.

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