Seneca Nation and New York agree framework of new 20-year gaming compact

June 8, 2023
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The deal must still be approved by both Governor Kathy Hochul and the Department of the Interior.

The Seneca Nation of Indians, after lengthy negotiation and new proposed legislature, has reached “an agreement in principle” with the state of New York, wherein the Tribe will continue operating casinos for the next 20 years. Framework for the deal has been made, but major details have not been released.

Tribal President Rickey Armstrong Jr told a press conference that the new terms, which are amended from a compact that has been in place since 2002, will be finalized within the week. The Tribe’s current deal expires December 9.

Armstrong said, “Throughout the negotiations, our focus remained on arriving at a fair, equitable deal that secured the future of our gaming operations, the final funding for our operations that provide critical services for our people and a significant jobs and economic benefits it generates in Western New York.”

The Seneca Nation operates three casinos in Western New York: the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino and the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. These properties generate the bulk of the Seneca Nation’s revenue.

A revenue-sharing agreement has directed $2bn in payments to the cities where Seneca casinos are located. During the last third of the compact, these payments brought about both conflict and litigation.

The Legislature must still authorize sign-off on the deal from Governor Kathy Hochul’s office. The Governor had, herself, been recused from negotiations due to her husband’s role in gaming industry company, Delaware North, a direct competitor of the Seneca Nation.

A spokesperson for the Governor said the office is “pleased” an agreement was reached that “serves the interest of both parties and benefits Western New York.” Hochul is still required to approve the compact before final approval may be granted by the Federal Department of the Interior.

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