By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO July 27, 2001 In the ongoing battle between Catskill Development and Park Place Entertainment, Catskill has apparently won the latest round.
On Monday, July 23, a judge with the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of NY in White Plains reversed a prior decision of May 14 and declared the land deal between Catskill and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe valid.
In April 2000, Catskill and the Mohawks won federal approval for a casino at Monticello Raceway. A short time after that deal was announced, Park Place wooed the Mohawks away with plans for a casino at Kutshers Country Club.
A lawsuit by Catskill was initiated last November, seeking $6.3 billion in damages for interference and conspiracy. Catskill can now move forward with the suit while actively seeking other tribes to negotiate with. Catskill officials called the victory "significant."
Park Place issued the following statement through their spokesperson, Steve Tankel: "First, this decision in no way implies any liability. It just means that CDG [Catskill Development Group] will have the right to argue the case in court as to the land purchase agreement. Furthermore, all of CDG's other claims that were previously dismissed remain dismissed. Most importantly, this decision does not impact Park Place's efforts to continue working with the St. Regis Mohawks tribe and the people of Sullivan County to bring a resort casino to the Catskills."