Senator George Borrello is renewing his call for New York State to negotiate a new gaming compact with the Seneca Nation before the current agreement expires on December 9.
Borrello said he sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul on September 20, urging her to start negotiations before time ran out.
He said that Seneca Nation of Indians President Ricky Armstrong has “repeatedly asked the governor to sit down with him and negotiate an agreement in good faith that is fair and addresses the needs of all parties, yet she continues to avoid the bargaining table.”
Borrello noted that any agreement would need to be approved by the state Legislature and the people of the Seneca Nation before it can be sent to the Federal Department of Interior for review and final approval.
He said the Seneca Nation’s casinos have a $1 billion annual impact on the state’s economy.
Hochul had previously recused herself from the negotiations, arguing her husband’s business ties with Delaware North could lead to a conflict of interest. William Hochul left Delaware North on August 15, and Hochul then issued a statement saying she was no longer barred from the gaming compact negotiations.
The original Seneca Nation Compact was authorized in 2002. The agreement cleared the way for the development of three Seneca casinos in Western New York.
Terms of the compact included the Seneca Nation paying 25 percent, approximately $100 million per year, of the slot and video lottery machine revenue from the casinos to the state, with a portion of that money directed to each casino’s host city. In return, the compact granted the Seneca Nation exclusive rights to operate Class III casinos in Western New York.