In the United States and the casino-operating Seneca Nation of Indians has reportedly declared that the state of New York has engaged in an ‘aggressive overreach’ by having its account with a prominent local bank frozen.
According to a Monday report from local television broadcaster WKBW-TV, the federally-recognized tribe announced that the stoppage with regional financial services firm KeyBank has also impacted its Seneca Gaming Corporation enterprise to leave around 4,000 people unpaid.
The Seneca Nation of Indians is reportedly responsible via the Seneca Gaming Corporation for New York’s Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino properties. The broadcaster explained that the bank account freezes have materialized some two weeks after the state threatened to institute ‘enforcement and collection efforts’ tied to the pair’s long-running dispute concerning overdue revenue-sharing payments.
The quarrel between New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians reportedly dates back to March of 2017 when the tribe ceased surrendering 25% of its slot revenues in revenue-sharing payments. The group purportedly detailed that it took this action owing to a contention that its original 2002 gaming compact with the state had been violated by the opening of the nearby Del Lago Resort and Casino, which is a commercial property run by Peninsula Pacific LLC.
Following a series of federal lawsuits, the Seneca Nation of Indians reportedly inked a revised gaming compact with New York in January that was due to include the immediate conveyance of approximately $540 million in overdue revenue-sharing payments. However, this transfer was delayed last month when the governing Seneca Nation Council passed a resolution asking the National Indian Gaming Commission to rule on the legality of the fresh understanding under the tenets of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Local radio talk show host John Kane, who lives in the Seneca Nation of Indians’ Cattaraugus Territory, reportedly told WKBW-TV that the state’s latest move is indicative of a ‘complete imbalance of power’ and proves that the dispute is not being negotiated on a ‘level playing field’. He purportedly went on to describe the freezing of the tribe’s bank accounts as symbolic of the ‘extreme opposition’ to which New York has towards any involvement from the National Indian Gaming Commission, which is a federal agency within the Department of the Interior.
Kane reportedly told the broadcaster…
“To be clear, the Seneca Nation of Indians has said all along that ‘we simply want the Department of the Interior to review the status of the revenue-sharing agreement’ because they never did review the compact as it relates to this seven-year extension.”
Nevertheless, the tactic may have worked as WKBW-TV reported that the Seneca Nation Council held a special session yesterday that voted in favor of releasing the overdue but escrowed revenue-sharing payments. This purportedly came despite the fact that all three of the upstate New York properties run by Seneca Gaming Corporation have remained open to continue servicing casino players.