The Seneca Nation owns and operates the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. Photo: Selbe Lynn

Seneca Nation ends casino payments after sending $1.4B to state of New York

After sharing $1.4 billion in gaming revenues with the state of New York, the Seneca Nation announced an end to the payments.

The Class III gaming compact runs through 2023 but the tribe believes the revenue sharing requirements have expired. The last payment will be delivered on March 31.

"Our obligation to the state ended," President Todd Gates said at a press conference on the reservation on Thursday. The payments had been made for 14 years.

However, Gates confirmed that arrangements with local governments and entities will continue. "Correct," was his response when asked about those payments.

Seneca Media and Communications Center on YouTube: Seneca Nation Press Conference 3/23/17 - Re: Gaming Compact

The tribe originally reached the compact in 2002. The deal covered three Class III facilities, including two located on lands that were outside the boundaries of the reservation at the time.

The agreement required the tribe to share up to 25 percent of slot machine revenues with the state. The payments totaled more than $110 million a year, according to news reports.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs allowed the compact to take effect in December 2002 without approving or rejecting it. During the Obama administration, the agency took a more critical look at revenue sharing arrangements and the federal courts grew more skeptical.

Read More on the Story:
Did the Seneca Nation just outmaneuver Albany? (The Buffalo News 3/24)
Seneca Nation to halt gambling casino payments to New York state (New York Upstate 3/23)
Seneca Nation of Indians to Stop Casino Payments to New York State (NBC New York 3/23)
Local officials expect to see Seneca Nation payments continue (The Niagara Gazette 3/23)
Seneca Nation to stop $110 million casino payments to state (The Buffalo News 3/22)
Seneca Nation to make final state payment for casinos (WIVB 3/22)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Gaming (December 9, 2002)

Join the Conversation
Related Stories:
John Kane: Seneca Nation money train coming to an end in New York(3/24)
Seneca Nation on track to complete $40M expansion at casino(10/27)
Seneca Nation stopped paying $17M a year for casino police service(08/23)
Supreme Court won't hear long-running Seneca Nation casino case(05/31)