Seneca Nation of Indians negotiates for new gaming compact

May 30, 2023
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A decision must be reached by the end of the year.

Required legislation has been introduced to begin negotiations between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation.

However, there is uncertainty with the legislation, surrounding Governor of New York Kathy Hochul.

Hochul is the only person who can sign the contract. However, Hochul previously signed a policy on the day before she was sworn into office, forbidding her from using her position to help Delaware North.

This is due to her husband’s position as SVP at the company, with Hochul not being allowed to act in her husband's interest.

Her husband’s company owns two racinos that are competitors of Seneca Nation’s casinos. Hochul has said she will defer to the state gaming commission due to her conflict of interests.

The current compact is due to expire in December this year, so a decision will need to be reached before the year draws to a close. Hochul could introduce her own program bill in the legislature or call a special session later in the year,

A recent Seneca Nation rally accused Hochul and state officials of not bargaining in good faith. Rally organizer J.C. Seneca said, “Despite the fact that the Seneca Nation-New York State Casino Compact is set to expire in December 2023, the state has not been bargaining in good faith and, in fact, has delayed negotiations for a number of months.

“It is time that the true decision makers from the Governor’s executive chamber and the state gaming commission bargain in good faith with Seneca Nation leaders to reach a fair compact agreement.”

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