On the day after a federal judge ruled against them, the Seneca Indian Nation called a stop to construction of its Buffalo casino-hotel complex. Seneca Gaming Corp. spokesman Phil Pantano claims that the ruling was not a factor in the halt and that the ruling will most likely be appealed later. While the ruling may have played a role in the decision, the Seneca Nation has also been affected by the downturn in the US economy.
Seneca Gaming Corp. Chairman Barry Snyder Sr. said the tribe has been keeping a close eye on the economy.
“In keeping with our financial commitments to our owner, the Seneca Nation of Indians, and with our obligations to bondholders, we have decided that it is our responsibility to suspend our construction activities at this time as we endeavor to preserve the continuing strength and vitality of our company,” Snyder said.
Seneca Gaming Corp. also stopped work on a $130 million expansion that was going on at it’s existing casino/hotel in Salamanca. Pantano’s statement said that the work suspensions are temporary but wouldn’t give any idea on when construction would resume.
In the SEC filing, the company said that these projects and another in Lewiston would take significant capital outlay and that the company was re-evaluating the timing and scope of the projects.
“The ability to complete these projects by the targeted dates, or at all, will depend on various factors including cash flow from operations, the availability of external financing with regard to one or more of the projects, certain nation and other governmental approvals, the effects of legal and/or administrative proceedings, and adherence to projected construction timelines,” the filing said.