Seneca Nation advocates push for a new gaming compact

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ALBANY, NY (WENY)– This week some Seneca Nation advocates travel to the Capitol to push for legislation furthering the process of a new gaming compact. The current gaming compact is set to expire this upcoming December.

“This cannot wait. This legislation needs to be passed now, or our dynamic economic engine will be at risk,” said Tina Abrams, Seneca Nation Council Member.

The Seneca Nation of Indians currently owns three casino’s in Salamanca, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls. The gaming compact allows Seneca Nation to operate those casinos. 

Gaming compact negotiations between the State of New York and Seneca Nation are ongoing but the Governor needs the legislature’s authorization to sign the final agreement.

bill recently introduced in the legislature would facilitate this authorization.

The Western New York tribe delivered over a thousand letters this week pushing for the compact.

Abrams said they want legislators to assure they are treated fairly in the compact agreement process.

“The state leaders have a responsibility to address the inequities that native nations have faced for hundreds of years and to assure that we are treated as a full or equal partner in our agreements,” she said. 

Some lawmakers said the public will benefit from a fair and honest negotiation process for the compact. 

“The more that we can do that, the better off you have as far as the relations go not just between the Seneca Nation and New York State, but all people,” said Patrick Gallivan (R-60th Senate District). 

If this bill is not passed before the end of session, lawmakers will have to come back for a special session. 

A spokesperson from the Governor’s office stated they will review the bill if it’s passed in both houses and that they are confident the negotiation process will continue in a way that serves New Yorkers best.

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