Seneca's call for arbitration to resolve casino revenue payments

Nov 3, 2011

The Seneca Nation of Indians will call for arbitration to resolve millions of dollars in casino payments to host cities.

Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter wrote to the Cuomo administration Thursday scolding it for not negotiating in good faith. The Seneca's have withheld tens of millions of dollars in casino revenue to host cities because it says the state has violated the Nation's exclusivity casino rights.  

“The state has yet to meaningfully respond to the Nation’s proposed terms, or alternatively, to provide the Nation with a good-faith offer to settle the matter,” said President Porter.  

The state has allowed gaming devices at taverns, restaurants and racinos, violating the Seneca's casino compact. Porter now says the Seneca's will be seeking gaming arbitration to resolve the matter.  

Porter's letter also proposes an alternative so the Nation could make direct casino revenue payments directly to the cities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca. Porter says the state has yet to meaningfully respond to the Nation’s proposed terms.  

The Seneca Nation paid the state and the three host communities a total of $476 million from 2002 through 2008 under its 2002 compact with New York. Of that, about 25 percent already flowed to the three communities during that time under various formulas.