SENECA NATION (WIVB) - The Seneca Nation is requesting a federal review of a compact amendment.
In 2002, the state and the Seneca Nation signed a gaming compact set to expire in 2023. The compact details how much money the Seneca Nation was to give to the state in the agreement's first 14 years.
In those years, Seneca officials say $1.4 billion was given to the state. Some of that money goes back to places like Buffalo and Niagara Falls, which have Seneca casinos.
What the compact did not specify, is how much the state is to be given after the first 14 years.
Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong, Sr. says that with an arbitration panel's ruling, payments will continue to be made to the state, although the 14 years have passed.
“The arbitration panel’s members, instead of interpreting the clear language of the Nation-State Compact, took it upon themselves to effectively and materially amend the agreed upon terms of the Compact, and they did so without regard for federal law and required procedures that govern both the Compact and the amendment process,” Armstrong, Sr. said. “Their ruling creates an obligation on behalf of the Seneca Nation that does not exist in the Compact as it is written, or as was reviewed and deemed approved by the Secretary of Interior in 2002. To allow this amendment to take effect without review by the Department of Interior would undermine the process by which the federal government carries out its trust responsibility to the Seneca Nation, and other sovereign Nations across the country.”
The Seneca Nation says its casino operations employ more than 4,000 people.