Since 2002, the Seneca Nation of Indians has been paying a portion of their casino revenues from slot gaming to the state of New York. A tribal-state compact was signed in 2002 that would see the tribe paying 25% of their slot machine revenues. The tribe has now decided to no longer pay this percentage effective April 1st.
On Wednesday, the Senecas announced their decision that they would no longer be paying the state a portion of their slot gaming earnings via their casinos located in Upstate New York. Since 2002, the tribe has paid almost $1.5 billion to the state via the slot revenue percentage.
The Senecas say they are acting in accordance to their compact terms, which called for an initial term of 14 years. The compact states that an extension can be signed for an additional seven years. The compact has reached its 15th year and the tribe stated there is nothing in the language regarding extension that requires that the payments continue to be made.
Officials were surprised by the decision of the tribe, with a representative of the tribe telling the Buffalo News that the stance of the tribe is nothing new as this is what the compact says in black and white. Todd Gates is the president of the Seneca Nation who issued a statement in regards to the decision, suggesting that the tribe could come to a new deal with the host communities of their casinos that have earned monies from the revenue sharing agreement.
According to Gates, the Seneca Nation is committed to being good neighbors and look forward to working directly with the host cities in order to continue the economic progress of Western New York. Currently, the state earns around $110 million each year from the slot revenue contributions by the tribe.
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