The Seneca Nation tribe has reacted to the arbitration panel’s order to pay US$255 million and said it improperly amended the Gaming Compact.
US.- According to the Seneca Nation of Indians, the order to pay US$255 million by an arbitration panel improperly amended the Gaming Compact. The tribe was commanded to pay held-back casino revenues to the state but has protested the resolution.
Tribe’s president Rickey Armstrong said that once the Nation has “reviewed and discussed this ruling and our legal rights, we will determine a path forward.”
“Two of the three arbitration panel members have determined that an obligation exists for the Nation to continue revenue share payments to the state beyond Year 14 of the compact,” Armstrong said in a statement. “The two panel members arrived at this conclusion despite the fact that no language exists in the compact to make such a determination.”
The tribe considers the panel has “effectively and materially amended the agreed upon terms of the compact. It has done so in complete disregard of federal law that governs the compact and without following the necessary federal procedures for making compact amendments.”
The panel began assessing the case in March after both parties failed to reach an agreement. However, it ruled against the Seneca Nation of Indians.
In 2017, the tribe argued that a drafting omission had released them from their obligation to pay the revenue-sharing agreement. That moved them to stop paying the state’s share from the three gaming venues it operates in western New York.
However, the state wanted them to continue to pay, which is why the arbitration began. After the panel ruled against the tribe, they didn’t sign off on the order. Senecas might take some additional legal moves to keep the dispute going.
“They had said they would honor the arbitration decision,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “They signed a contract saying they would honor the arbitration decision. What does that mean? Apparently not much.”