Satmar Support for Casinos in Catskills NY
While the Agudath Yisrael of America along with Hareidi community rabbis have started a campaign calling for an Orthodox vote against plans for new casinos in the Catskill region of New York in the upcoming November 5 general elections, Behadrey Haredim reports that certain groups within the wider Satmar hassidic sect support the planned casinos.
The plan calls for five casinos to be built within the year in the Catskill region, traditionally popular among Orthodox and particularly Hareidi Jews as a resort area.
Initially, both Satmar weekly newspapers, Der Yid and Der Blatt, called for a vote of "no" on the referendum, citing the moral dangers the casinos pose.
However it soon became clear that the Satmar group Kiryas Yoel, one of the three largest Satmar sects in the world, actually supports the plan for casinos.
Rabbi Moshe Indig, senior spokesperson for the Satmar sect, said in a statement to the media: "We will support the referendum and support the building of casinos in Sullivan County, because our community always supports whatever brings benefit to our country and therefore we will not oppose the building of casinos in Sullivan county."