Seneca Nation Settles Multi-Million Dollar Casino Dispute in New York
Finish to a long-operating battle
The Seneca Nation of Indians has come to a settlement agreement in New York over a long-running battle with regards to its casino revenue contributions to the state.
As element of the agreement, announced by the tribe on Wednesday, the Seneca Nation will pay nearly $500m worth of income share that it has held back since the starting of the dispute back in the early months of 2017. The funds have been in escrow ever because.
the tribe has requested a new state gaming compact
The tribe has also agreed to resume the income share payments each quarter as component of the settlement agreement. However, in return, the tribe has requested a new state gaming compact that would give it far more handle more than the operations of its casinos.
The group’s present compact is set to expire in December 2023, with officials to talk about the elements of a new compact more than the subsequent couple of months.
The contentious points
The current gaming compact in between the Seneca Nation and New York needs the tribe to contribute 25% of revenue from slot machines and video lottery machines. This income comes from the tribe’s casinos in Salamanca, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo and equates to approximately $100m each and every year.
Even though the state receives this income, a portion is provided to the host city of every single casino. The tribe signed the compact in 2002, providing it the exclusive rights to operate casinos in a 14-county section of western New York in return for the 25% income share.
Since the 2002 compact came into effect, Seneca has contributed revenue payments of $1.4bn to the state and invested over $1bn in casino development. Its 3 casinos employ approximately 3,000 people.
The basis of the long-operating disagreement in between the Senecas and the state revolves about this compact. The tribe believed that it no longer had to make the payments following the expiration of the agreement at the finish of 2016. The state had a diverse interpretation, believing that the income share payments should continue.
In the ensuing legal battle, arbitration panels and numerous courts usually supported the state government’s side.
Functioning towards a new gaming compact
The tribe believes that a give-and-take approach is now better than pursuing additional legal action. Seneca Nation leaders have estimated that this technique will save the group about $40m in legal costs, dispute charges, and other similar expenses.
the tribe is hoping for a lot more clarity on the obligations of both the tribe and the state
Through a new compact, the tribe is hoping for more clarity on the obligations of each the tribe and the state in their partnership. Seneca Nation President Matthew Pagels mentioned that the tribe desires “to see the momentum generated by our investments and operations continue to develop.” He also expressed a wish to build upon the existing “strong relationships” with the cities hosting its casinos.
Shortly soon after the announcement from the tribe on Wednesday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul released her personal statement acknowledging the ending of the payments dispute. Hochul stated she is pleased with the resolution and appears “forward to beginning discussions toward a new compact.”