Today at 11:00am the Shinnecock Indians on Eastern Long Island will get a phone call from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs telling them they've been granted federal recognition. Whoopty-freakin'-doo, right? Wrong. Federal recognition for the Shinnecock means they won't be bound by New York State law, particularly the one banning pro MMA, and it means the Shinnecock will get to move forward with their plans to open a casino with hotel and entertainment facilities (i.e., a venue to host at least regional-sized MMA shows). To draw a comparison, think of how the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut sprouted up and was soon hosting UFCs, IFLs and Bellators. Now switch Connecticut with Long Island, and trim that 2 1/2 hour drive down to an hour (although the Shinnecock Reservation is in Southampton, they're working out a deal with the state to build their gambling mecca in Calverton, which is much closer to NYC).
Technically, Albany could legalize MMA any time between next week and the year 2027 (and given how smooth New York runs, 2027 might be most accurate). But it's good to know that there will at least be other options out there.
Also, "Shinnecock". Tehe.