Seneca Nation asks for federal review of gaming compact with NYS

Local News

(WIVB) — The Seneca Nation of Indians is looking to Washington to keep them from having to make a huge payment to Albany for their three casinos in Western New York.

In March, a federal court ruled that the nation is obligated to pay the money under their compact with New York State. The Seneca Niagara Casino has been operating since 2003, with the Buffalo Creek and Salamanca locations added later on.

The nation’s president says as much as $1 billion is at stake.

“In fairness to the legal process, the Nation filed a court motion today, effectively freezing previous court decisions and delay any payment enforcement until the legality of those payments can be considered,” said Seneca Nation of Indians President Matthew Pagels.

The Senecas made payments for the first 14 years of their agreement with New York State when the Senecas say those payments were no longer required. New York state says the Senecas still owe them annual payments.

One-fourth of the money paid by the Senecas to the state goes to the three host cities — Niagara falls, Buffalo and Salamanca.

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