The Seneca Nation owns and operates the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. Photo: Christine K
Compacts | Litigation | New York

Governor of New York refuses to meet with Seneca Nation amid gaming dispute



Tensions between the state of New York and the Seneca Nation are rising amid a Class III gaming compact dispute.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) abruptly canceled a meeting with President Todd Gates that was to take place on Tuesday, Spectrum News Buffalo reported. The reason given was a "criminal investigation" into an alleged listening device found in a tribally-owned building in which the New York State Gaming Commission leases space, reporter Ryan Whalen wrote on Twitter.

"A source tells me the investigation has been going on for 'some time,'" Whalen added in another post.

An unnamed "official" from the Cuomo administration followed up on that development with a threat delivered through The Buffalo News. The state will authorize a non-Indian casino in Niagara Falls, where the tribe operates the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, if the tribe doesn't resume revenue sharing payments, the official said.

“If they don’t fulfill their obligations to continue payments and to honor the compact, we are going to pursue putting an additional casino in Niagara Falls,’’ the unnamed official said.

The gaming compact at issue went into effect in 2002. Since then, the tribe has shared $1.2 billion with the state.

Gates announced an end to the payments in March, saying the terms of the compact did not authorize them past 14 years. The state hasn't said anything publicly about the matter until now.

Read More on the Story:
Cuomo to Senecas: Continue payments or state will put a casino in Niagara Falls (The Buffalo News August 21, 2017)
Erie County DA Investigating Allegations Seneca Nation ‘Eavesdropped’ On State Gaming Officials (State of Politics August 21, 2017)
A tale of two states: How tribal gaming affects Florida and New York (CalvinAyre.Com August 16, 2017)
Dispute between Seneca Nation and state stops casino cash flow to local counties (WHEC August 15, 2017)
State-Seneca Nation dispute could cost Livingston County $350,000 (The Livingston County News August 14, 2017)
Municipalities upstate feel the pinch as Senecas end casino payments (The Buffalo News August 10, 2017)

An Opinion:
John Kane: Governor ignores casino compact wording and hurts communities (The Buffalo News August 18, 2017)

Related Stories:
Seneca Nation plans meeting with state to discuss future of gaming compact (August 9, 2017)
Seneca Nation willing to talk to state as gaming payments come to end (July 5, 2017)
Seneca Nation gaming corporation announces new top executive (June 1, 2017)
John Kane: Nothing is simple for tribes when dealing with New York (May 2, 2017)
Ernie Stevens: Seneca Nation keeps commitment to its neighbors (April 17, 2017)
Seneca Nation ends casino payments after sending $1.4B to state of New York (March 24, 2017)