A New York Senator Wants the State Comptroller to Review Gaming Compacts

A New York Senator Wants the State Comptroller to Review Gaming Compacts

The New York Senate is currently discussing passing new legislation that will need the state’s comptroller to review all new gaming compacts. But tribal and state gaming authorities need to agree on the issue first.

Currently, each gaming agreement passes through four review stages. Even so, one senator intends to allow another New York executive branch to check the new and pending gaming agreements.

Details About S7502

The New York Senate Finance Committee is deliberating on the proposed constitutional amendment. George M. Borello, the legislation’s sponsor, is in the committee, and it lacks pending hearings. His bill doesn’t allow the comptroller to change the terms of a gaming agreement between a tribal gaming authority or revoke its approval.

Instead, it requires the comptroller to scrutinize the documents and give recommendations. If they lack a recommendation, they would propose the gaming agreement to get approved without any adjustment.
The legislation concentrates on a gaming agreement’s four facets, including:

  • If the negotiations followed the right procedures
  • Whether state officials campaigned for the compact
  • How the compact will affect tribal gaming exclusive agreements
  • Any issue that the comptroller will consider essential

Borello Justifies the Bill

Borello justified the constitutional amendment, S7502, stating that the Seneca Nation of Indians and the New York State’s gaming compact will expire in a few months. But they are negotiating to create a new compact or renew it for the Native American tribe to run its gaming venues in Western New York.

Reports show that Governor Kathy Hochul withdrew from the gaming agreements. Still, she is the state’s Executive Branch and will have to sign on compacts that the two parties form.

The new legislation will allow the governor’s office to sign an equitable and fair agreement. Besides, it will protect the state’s taxpayers and the Seneca’s interests.

Seneca Nation’s representatives stated that they want the discussions to be fair. Borello recently discussed the compact with Ryan Whalen from Spectrum Local News.

Borello added that he is receiving negative reports about the negotiation. His jurisdiction includes the land of one Seneca Casino. Yet, he isn’t taking part in the discussions besides casting a vote on the compact proposal in the Senate.

Who Is a New York Comptroller?

The state comptroller is often elected and serves as the New York government’s executive branch. They oversee the government’s expenditures and manage state employees’ pension funds.

Thomas P. DiNapoli is the current state comptroller, and his term began in 2007 after state lawmakers voted for him. The official has been reelected four times since then. No law has prevented him from reviewing gaming compacts.

Even so, S7502 requires him to check all agreements. DiNapoli revealed New York’s gaming revenue in a November 2020 report and compared it to the investment it makes in curbing compulsive betting. He stated in 2021 that four leading gaming operators haven’t paid millions in oversight fees.

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