Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

- Subsribe at
April 3rd, 2014

Hasidim Must Butt Out of Casino Battle

The next few months are expected to be very exciting as applications are filed by developers wanting to construct and operate gaming resort destinations in New York State.

On Monday the Request for Application that sets the structure for developers who plan on bringing these resort casinos was released. It is expected that two will be built in the Catskill Region, and one in the Southern Tier and Albany regions.

For decades Sullivan County has been battling for these types of resort destinations, and every time we got our hopes up, we saw it shot down.

If our leaders in Albany did the right thing, all four of these initial resort destinations would be designated for Sullivan County, but such is not the case.

Without a doubt – Sullivan County should and is entitled to get the two resort destinations earmarked for the Catskill region. Sadly, with our luck we are lucky if we get only one.

Alongside developers coming out of the woodwork with plans to build in Ulster and Orange Counties, a group of Hasidic Rabbis met in Brooklyn last week to embark on lobbying campaign to stop Sullivan County, and in particular the Concord project, from obtaining approval to open a gaming hall.

According to published reports, “The meeting was attended by more than thirty prominent Rabbonim from the Borough Park community. Upon conclusion of the meeting, it was decided that “the community must be urgently warned to do whatever it can to prevent the destruction” of several Orthodox Jewish communities in the Catskills consisting of camps, homes, and schools which would result from the building of a casino in the vicinity.”

The report in JP Updates further stated that, “All the participants of the meeting agreed with Rabbi Caller’s proposal to launch a petition drive to collect at least 50,000 signatures from the residents of the Orthodox Jewish communities in Borough Park, Williamsburg, Flatbush and Monroe. “Our community residents have homes, camps and yeshivas in the area and spend a significant amount of time every summer in the Catskills Mountains’ area and therefore must voice their concerns about the imminent construction of a casino in Monticello,” said Rabbi Caller.

This type of conduct is deplorable, outrageous, and destructive. Instead of building on a working and respectful relationship with the taxpayers and residents of Sullivan County, these Rabbis are creating further division.

These Rabbis apparently could care less about our economic plight – Instead their only concern is coming up here to purchase land for their enjoyment while taking the bulk of these properties off our tax rolls.

How can they expect the people of Sullivan County to respect and tolerate their needs when they do not respect ours? Any project this group has before one of our planning boards should be delayed until they wake up and see what they are attempting to do to us.

We do not go into Brooklyn and tell the Hasidic community what they should and shouldn’t do. These Rabbis have no right to be interfering with our need to construct resort destinations. This is about our survival, and our necessity to rebuild and revitalize Sullivan County, and as good neighbors and summer visitors they should be supporting and working with us and not against us.

Perhaps the ulterior motive is to see the Concord project fail so they could scoop up the land and build another Kiryas Joel.

The audacity of these Rabbis! The Hasidim Must Butt Out of Our Casino Battle!

Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, who is also a summer visitor and has their ears, should be meeting with these Rabbis on our behalf to explain to them how irrational and destructive their actions are. Perhaps he can get them to stop the rhetoric.

I am certain these Rabbis do not represent all sects of the Hassidic community, but their actions are a reflection of their entire community, and are unwarranted.

We cannot be distracted by this – We must remain steadfast in winning two Resort Destinations for Sullivan County. One proposal should not be pitted against another. No one should be labeled a frontrunner by our Legislature, IDA, and Partnership – Every proposal must be treated with the same equality.

We must lobby and prevent Ulster and Orange Counties from winning a bid. We need two here to rebuild and build on our tourism industry. Ulster and Orange does not need resort destinations for their survival. Ulster and Orange will benefit substantially from our gaming halls as other counties in our region will.

So far we have three magnificent proposals that are expected to file applications – the Adelaar Resort, Foxwoods Catskills, and the Stockbridge Munsees. We can also expect applications from developers Louis Cappelli and David Flaum.

In Ulster County there is the Nevele project, and in Orange there is yet another project from Flaum, and one near the Newburgh airport.

If the Request for Application is any indication, it appears that Sullivan County could be leading the way for the approval of two resort destinations because of the fees associated with the application, our stickler could be the Nevele project.

The fees set for Dutchess or Orange Counties is $70,000,000. If no License is awarded for a Gaming Facility located in Dutchess or Orange Counties, then for the remaining portion of the Region (comprising Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster Counties): $50,000,000.

If a License is awarded for a Gaming Facility located in Dutchess or Orange Counties, then for the remaining portion of the Region (comprising Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster Counties): $35,000,000

It would be nice if we were approved for two, and the Stockbridge Munsees miraculously received Indian approval from the BIA, something they have been attempting to do for over a decade.

According to the Request for Application applicants will be required to participate in an April 30, 2014 Applicants Conference, to take place in the Capital Region and open to the public and streamed online. Applications will be accepted until June 30, 2014.

What is interesting to note is that local support will only entail 20 percent of the determining factor with who is awarded a license. That is bunched in with local impacts and costs; mitigation of impact to host communities and neighboring communities; the effect on housing stock and education; local business and regional attraction co-promotion plans; agreements with other large entertainment venues; and the use of local businesses.

A positive observation for Sullivan County is that 70 percent of the determining factor in deciding who gets a license will be based on economic impacts such as jobs created and what they mean for the host County. Because we are such a depressed County so one would assume this will benefit us.


The time frame it takes to open and finance a project will also weigh in the decision making. Ten percent will be based on workforce enhancement factors. They did not set a minimum investment for each project.

At this point it is anyone’s guess who will win a license. One thing is certain – We need to be united for two Right here in Sullivan County.

To view the Request for Application

Article on Hasidic Rabbis

Adelaar Resort

Foxwoods Catskills Resort

Stockbridge Munsee Tribe


Who: Members of the Sullivan County Casino Impacts Sub-Committee

All individuals, businesses, organizations, labor and university representatives from Sullivan County are welcome to attend the public meeting. Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.


Comments are closed.