New York State Races Against Time in Seneca Gaming Compact Negotiations

New York state officials find themselves under increasing pressure to secure a new gaming compact with the Seneca Nation of Indians before the current agreement expires in less than 90 days. 

Concerns Mount Over Stalled Seneca Nation Gaming Talks

State Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio, representing the 148th District of Western New York, expressed his growing unease over the stagnant talks between the state and the Seneca Nation, reported The Olean Times Herald. He emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that he had not heard about any progress at all and pointed out that time was running out. Giglio’s concerns are shared by many in his district, where the tribal casinos serve as the largest employers, providing jobs for thousands of residents.

The current gaming compact, set to expire on December 9, grants the Seneca Nation exclusive rights to offer class III gaming in the state’s Western region in exchange for 25% of gambling revenues. Negotiations between the parties seemed promising earlier this year when they reached a tentative agreement in June. However, the deal fell apa lodivip rt after objections were raised by Rochester-area lawmakers regarding a proposed casino in the city, causing further delays and tensions between the parties.

Apart from the looming deadline, additional challenges include the need for approval from Seneca Nation citizens through a referendum vote, the US Department of the Interior‘s sign-off on the deal, and the State Legislature passing a bill authorizing the new agreement. The complexity of these requirements adds to the urgency felt by negotiators.

Seneca Nation Prioritizes Fair Compact in Urgent Talks

Seneca President Rickey Armstrong Sr. underscored the importance of the negotiations, emphasizing that their top priority was to establish a fair compact. He expressed eagerness for increased direct dialogue with the state, highlighting the immense economic impacts and advantages resulting from the discussions. Armstrong stressed that these consequences were substantial, benefiting not only the Seneca people but also their numerous employees, collaborators, and the entire Western New York region.

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Assemblyman Giglio further expressed his frustration, questioning the state’s approach to the negotiations.

He wondered why more attention was not being paid to the matter and what was causing the delay. Giglio emphasized his deep disappointment, stating that the negotiations should have been concluded earlier. He is of the opinion that everyone, including the state, would face significant consequences due to the delay, describing the situation as potentially catastrophic.

As the countdown continues, all eyes are on the negotiating table, with the hope that a resolution can be reached swiftly to prevent potential economic setbacks for both the Seneca Nation and the state of New York.