The Seneca Nation has reached an agreement in principle with New York State for a new 20-year casino gaming compact. The Nation’s current compact, signed in 2002, is set to expire on December 9 of this year.
“Negotiating a fair compact was critical to the future of the Seneca Nation and the future of Western New York. Throughout months of negotiation, our focus remained on arriving at a fair deal that secured the future of our gaming operations, the vital funding our operations provide for critical services for our people, and the significant jobs and economic benefits they generate in Western New York. We made it clear that we would not settle for anything less,” said Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr.
“Now that we have reached a point of agreement with the state’s negotiators on a framework that we believe is fair, we hope to move as quickly as possible toward finalizing the terms and securing all necessary approvals to enact what we believe will be another historic agreement that builds upon what we have accomplished over the past two decades,” added President Armstrong.
The Nation signed its current compact agreement with New York State in August 2002, opening the door to an unprecedented wave of private investment and job creation in Western New York.
Since then, the Seneca Nation has invested nearly $2 billion to build, develop and operate its three casinos in Western New York – Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls (opened 2002), Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca (opened 2004), and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo (opened 2007).
Today, the Seneca Nation stands as one of Western New York’s most powerful economic engines and one of the region’s largest employers. Between its casino facilities, other business enterprises and its government operations, the Nation is responsible for more than 5000 direct jobs, more than $300 million in annual wages, and nearly $600 million in annual spending with vendors and suppliers. The Nation has an annual economic impact of more than $1.1 billion on the Western New York economy.
Revenues from the Nation’s gaming operations represent a significant portion of the Nation’s annual budget and fund important services for the Seneca people, including healthcare, education, housing, elders’ services, infrastructure and public safety.
Nation and state representatives will work to finalize terms of a new compact. The proposed compact must be approved by a referendum vote of the Seneca people, and must also be reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior before it can go into effect.
“We have come a long way, as a Nation and as a region, over the last 20 years, and we have made significant progress in our negotiations over the last several weeks. We are committing ourselves to getting this new compact in place so that we can continue to transform life for the Seneca people and the economy in Western New York for generations to come,” said President Armstrong.