In the United States and the casino-operating Seneca Nation of Indians has reportedly asked the National Indian Gaming Commission to rule on the legality of its recently-agreed revenue-sharing deal with the state of New York.
According to a Monday report from the Olean Times Herald newspaper, the federally-recognized tribe is responsible via its Seneca Gaming Corporation enterprise for the eastern state’s Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino properties. These three tribal venues are purportedly now due to recommence making revenue-sharing payments to the state under an arrangement inked with the administration of New York Governor Kathy Hochul last month.
The newspaper reported that this contentious settlement was signed off by Seneca Nation President Matthew Pagels on January 12 as a way of ending the five-year dispute that had seen the tribe withhold some $540 million in slot revenue-sharing payments to the state of New York. However, the Seneca Nation Council has now purportedly passed a resolution that will require a determination from the National Indian Gaming Commission on the of the legality of this understanding under the tenets of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act before any cash can be handed over.
Pagels reportedly told the Olean Times Herald…
“The Department of Interior and the National Indian Gaming Commission have raised concerns about the legality of the continued revenue share payments under the Seneca Nation of Indians’ gaming compact and commenced a review of the matter several months ago. To date, neither agency has issued an official report nor taken any legal action.”
This Saturday move reportedly came less than five days after the Mothers of the Nation, which is a band of tribal women organized under the Seneca Constitution with purview over treaties, had submitted an official petition to the Department of the Interior featuring 200 names and alleging the invalid nature of the recently-inked settlement deal. The newspaper reported that this group subsequently praised the move by the Seneca Nation Council as a way of ensuring the tribe is moving ‘in the right direction for the best benefit of the Seneca people, our children and our future.’
The Olean Times Herald reported that the Seneca Nation of Indians’ fresh understanding with the state of New York is furthermore due to be the subject of a legal challenge from the former Executive Director of the Seneca Gaming Corporation, Marie Williams. This lawsuit has purportedly been filed with the Seneca Nation Courts and alleges that illegal payments and ‘assessed costs’ far beyond the provisions of the original compact are buried in the new deal.
Reportedly read a statement from Pagels…
“After receiving community feedback, the Seneca Nation Council approved a resolution to continue holding compact revenue share payments until the federal review is complete. We hope such a report is finalized expeditiously so our nation can move forward in charting the future of our gaming operations.”