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Court rules Seneca Nation must pay casino compact funding

State News

SENECA NATION (WIVB) — A federal court has ruled that the Seneca Nation is obligated to pay casino compact funding.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s senior advisor, Rich Azzopardi, released a statement on Friday afternoon.

“The court confirmed what we’ve said all along: the Seneca Nation needs to fulfill their obligations, make their neighbors and the state whole, and pay what they owe in exchange for their exclusive gaming rights. It is our hope that they end this charade, stop using the courts to delay, and pay what they owe.”

Earlier this year, the Seneca Nation filed federal court action in order to try to move toward a resolution in the disagreements involving a compact with New York State.

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.

“We continue to believe, as anyone who has read the Compact, that the Nation’s Compact payment obligation was fulfilled, and we believe we had an obligation to the Seneca people to defend the Compact as it was written and agreed upon,” Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong, Sr. said.

The Seneca Nation says its casino operations employ more than 4,000 people.

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