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Litigation | New York | Openings and Closings
Seneca Nation not worried about off-reservation casino lawsuit

The Seneca Nation is confident of the legality of its off-reservation casino in downtown Buffalo, New York, President Robert Odawi Porter said.

The tribe broke ground on a $130 million permanent home for the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. A group called Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County is questioning the work due to an ongoing lawsuit about the legality of the facility.

“We remain confident that the U.S. Justice Department will prevail in this lawsuit and that our new, $130 million casino, with great input from the surrounding waterfront community, will open in 14 months, adding to the appeal of Buffalo’s burgeoning Canalside area," Porter said in a press release.

The tribe acquired the Buffalo site in connection with a land claim settlement. Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act generally allows gaming in such cases.

But the site is held in restricted fee status and the Bush administration issued a legal opinion that said Section 20 don't apply in such cases. The anti-casino group is disputing that interpretation.

Get the Story:
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Relevant Documents:
Solicitor's Opinion: Applicability of 25 U.S.C. § 2719 to Restricted Fee Lands (January 18, 2009)

Related Stories:
Construction Watch: Seneca Nation builds a permanent casino (8/6)