Seneca Nation of Indians is on a task to find a new contractual agreement with the State of New York regarding its gambling operations. In a recent statement, the tribe informed that its discussions with state officials are advancing and that it has covered all of its bases in the negotiations. The Nation is hopeful that an agreement can be found before the end of 2023.
Decades ago, the Seneca Nation of Indians and the state of New York inked a gaming compact which allowed the tribe to enter the state’s gambling landscape. It grants the Native American tribe exclusive gaming rights to operate Class III casinos in Western New York. The compact is one that allows the Nation to offer table games, slot machines, and sports betting on its properties.
Talks are Advancing
President of the tribe, Rickey Armstrong Sr. has recently shared with the public that contract negotiations with the state are progressing well. He explained that the Nation has made significant efforts for talks to advance and that they wish to continue to work on a new gaming compact that reflects the current gaming scene and the tribe has been working on the company for two years.
Also, the President claimed that Seneca Gaming Corporation’s three NY casinos have benefited the local economy in more than one way. The three properties are Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino. Its gaming operations have provided economic boosts, employment, and investments from companies with local businesses.
The existing contract which expires at the end of 2023 states that the Nation must also share a portion of its casino revenue with each host city. Also, 25% of each gaming property’s revenue from slots is also shared with its host community. That is why the President of the tribe is hopeful that the state will be able to recognize the positive impact of its operations in the Western region.
The office of Governor Kathy Hochul also commented that talks are moving forward. A spokesperson for the governor said the executive chamber and the New York State Gaming Commission have been involved in substantive talks with the Native American Nation for several months now. The spokesperson said the state is fully committed and optimistic about the compact.
It seems that Seneca Nation and New York State are in a rather positive relationship, however, this was not always the case. The two parties were involved in a years-long conflict, where the tribe refused to honour its gaming payments to the state due to an alleged breach of contract. This led to NY taking drastic measures against it and freezing the tribe’s bank accounts in early 2022.
This prompted the Nation to finally agree and pay its financial obligations to the state. Later in 2022, President of the Nation, Matthew Pagels commented that he is hopeful to have a new and fair gaming compact. He pointed out that the industry has expanded as new casinos and racinos have launched in the region, and it affecting the Nation’s business.
Source: Boecker, Matt “Seneca Nation Has “Covered All Our Bases” In Quest For NY Casino Compact Renewal” PlayNY, January 24, 2023