The Seneca Nation has announced a preliminary gaming compact deal with New York.
US.- Following months of negotiations, the Seneca Nation has reached an agreement in principle with New York State for a new 20-year casino gaming compact. The Nation’s current compact, signed in 2002, is set to expire on December 9.
In a press conference, Seneca Nation president Rickey Armstrong Sr said the specific terms will be finalised in the next few days.
He said: “Negotiating a fair compact was critical to the future of the Seneca Nation and the future of Western New York. Throughout months of negotiation, our focus remained on arriving at a fair deal that secured the future of our gaming operations, the vital funding our operations provide for critical services for our people, and the significant jobs and economic benefits they generate in Western New York. We made it clear that we would not settle for anything less.”
Both the Department of the Interior and the Seneca Nation at large will need to approve the terms of the deal, and the state legislature will need to draft and pass a bill supporting the agreement. Governor Kathy Hochul recused herself from negotiations because her husband works for Seneca gaming competitor Delaware North but is ultimately required to approve it.
The original Seneca Nation Compact was authorised in 2002, clearing the way for the development of three Seneca casinos in western New York. The Seneca Niagara Casino opened in 2002, followed by the Salamanca location in 2004 and the Buffalo location in 2007.
Terms of the compact included the Seneca Nation paying 25 per cent of slot and video lottery machine revenues to the state (approximately $100m a year), with a portion directed to each casino’s host city. In return, the compact grants the Nation exclusive rights to operate Class III casinos in western New York.
“We have come a long way, as a Nation and as a region, over the last 20 years, and we have made significant progress in our negotiations over the last several weeks,” Armstrong said. “We are committing ourselves to getting this new compact in place so that we can continue to transform life for the Seneca people and the economy in Western New York for generations to come.”