Seneca Nation officials have shared their disappointment with the fact that the New York State Assembly did not manage to reach an agreement over the tribe’s new gaming compact by the end of the last legislative session on June 21st.
The last session of the Assembly did not see the lawmakers address the proposed compact of the Senecas that was approved by the Senate earlier in June. This basically means that New York State lawmakers would need a special legislative session that would have to be held before the end of the year to pass a new 20-year compact agreement eventually.
Rickey Armstrong Sr., who is the President of the Seneca Nation, shared that the Native American tribe worked with the negotiating team of the state to agree on the terms of the new compact, while the latest legislative session of the NY Assembly was still active. He noted that the tribe wanted to make significant concessions from their previous agreement in principle in case the Assembly was willing to take up the legislation.
Mr. Armstrong Sr. confirmed that, unfortunately, the two parties had been unable to arrive at an agreement that met the concerns of the New York Assembly and Governor Kathy Hochul’s office on one hand, and the needs of the Seneca Nation, on the other hand.
Special Session Will Be Needed for the NY Lawmakers to Greenlight Seneca Nation’s Gambling Compact
The proposed gambling compact of the Seneca Nation faced some opposition in the Assembly. Del Lago Resort and Casino which is situated in close proximity to Senecas’ exclusivity zone was one of the three major opponents of the compact, along with Rochester officials, who were against the establishment of a proposed Seneca Nation casino in their city, and unions at the Farmington-based Finger Lakes Raceway and Casino.
The President of the Seneca Nation, however, explained that the leadership of the New York Assembly has indicated that it was willing to vote on an agreement once the state and the Native American tribe are ready to finalize the new compact’s fair terms. Mr. Armstrong Sr. explained that reaching an agreement is a priority for the tribe and its economies of the Seneca Nation and Western New York. According to the Native American tribe’s President, continuing under the terms of the outdated gaming compact beyond its expiration date (December 9th, 2023) was neither an acceptable nor a reasonable solution for any of the parties.
Since the current compact of the Seneca Nation was signed in 2002, the Native American tribe has invested almost $2 billion in its three full-scale casinos in the state – Niagara Falls-based Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, which started operation in 2002, Salamanca-based Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino, which started operation in 2004, and Buffalo-based Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino that opened in 2007.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the new agreement with the state was announced earlier in June. However, no additional details on the exact terms of the contract were unveiled at the time.