The Seneca Nation has reached an agreement in principle for a new 20-year casino gaming compact with New York State following months of negotiations.
The current compact, which was signed in August 2002, is set to expire near the end of the year on December 9 and has resulted in private investment and new jobs in western New York.
Terms for the compact still need to be finalised over the next few weeks between the Seneca Nation and state representatives.
Before the compact comes into effect, it also needs to be approved by the Seneca people via a referendum vote, as well as reviewed and approved by the US Department of Interior.
Rickey Armstrong Sr, President of Seneca Nation, commented: “Negotiating a fair compact was critical to the future of the Seneca Nation and the future of Western New York.
“Throughout months of negotiation, our focus remained on arriving at a fair deal that secured the future of our gaming operations, the vital funding our operations provide for critical services for our people, and the significant jobs and economic benefits they generate in Western New York. We made it clear that we would not settle for anything less.
“Now that we have reached a point of agreement with the state’s negotiators on a framework that we believe is fair, we hope to move as quickly as possible toward finalising the terms and securing all necessary approvals to enact what we believe will be another historic agreement that builds upon what we have accomplished over the past two decades.”
Since the current compact was signed in 2002, almost $2bn has been invested into building, developing and operating three casinos – Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca, and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo.
Revenue from these establishments make up a large share of Seneca Nation’s annual budget and funds projects for the Seneca people, such as healthcare and education.
Armstrong added: “We have come a long way, as a Nation and as a region, over the last 20 years, and we have made significant progress in our negotiations over the last several weeks.
“We are committing ourselves to getting this new compact in place so that we can continue to transform life for the Seneca people and the economy in Western New York for generations to come.”