Fortunately, the stalemate between the Seneca Nation and New York State didn’t last too long.
On Wednesday, Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. announced the tribe had agreed “in principle” with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration on a new 20-year tribal gaming compact.
Seneca Nation’s new 20-year tribal gaming compact
In a statement from Hochul spokesman Matt Janiszewski, he said:
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle on a fair compact between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York State that will serve the interests of both parties and benefit Western New York communities.”
Speaking with the Buffalo News, Armstrong said the tribe celebrated the agreement and the future impact the gaming compact would bring.
Terms of the compact still need to be approved by a referendum of Seneca Nation citizens and the federal Department of Interior. New York lawmakers must also pass a bill authorizing Hochul to agree to the compact terms.
Details about what’s included in the new compact to be announced
One of the pressing issues in this year’s negotiation was whether the tribe would continue to pay 25% of gaming revenue to the state.
In May, Armstrong said the gaming landscape has changed since 2002, decreasing the value of the exclusivity zone. Thus, the payment percentage should also go down under the new deal.
“I think it was high, to begin with, at 25%,” Armstrong said. “With the intrusion of commercial gaming into our area or nearby our area, I don’t see the exclusivity having the same value it did 20 years ago. I think that 25% is a little excessive. We see it as a lesser amount.”
Under the original 2002 compact, the tribe obtained the exclusive rights to offer slot machines and table games west of State Route 14 in exchange for paying a portion of revenues to the state.
Since then, several new gaming options have entered New York. Now the state has online sports betting and potentially soon New York online casinos.
Specific details about the new gaming compact remain unknown. However, Armstrong did say details would be announced in the coming days.