Seneca Tribe Expresses Interest In Opening Rochester Casino
The Seneca Nation of Indians has had a rocky relationship with the state of New York over the past few years. The tribe has been refusing to pay the state any shares of casino revenues in Buffalo, but that has not stopped the tribe from considering more gaming facilities in New York.
On Monday, Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter asserted that the tribe would be willing to work with local government officials in an attempt to bring a new casino to Rochester. Whether or not any such agreement would be acceptable to state lawmakers is a question that will be answered in the coming months.
The president claimed that the tribe could secure federal approval for sovereign land within two months. Once the approval is granted, the tribe would be free to open a new casino in Rochester, one that would help pump millions of dollars into the local economy.
"Rochester is a great opportunity for us if it happens," said Porter. "Whether it's something the community of Rochester and the state of New York want, that's another question."
The Senecas had been paying revenue to the state for their casino as recently as 2009. That year, however, the tribe cl;aimed that the state violated the terms of a gaming compact by allowing other facilities in the area to be known as "casinos." The battle has gone on in court, and the Senecas have yet to resume paying taxes on the slot revenue.
The idea that the tribe could easily gain land sovereignty is one that comes from a recent ruling at the federal level. The ruling made it easier for tribe's to operate casinos, even off of their reservations. In this case, the Senecas would be trying to extend their reservation rather than build a casino outside of the current reservation.
The race tracks that offer slot machines in Rochester have already voiced their opposition of a new casino in the city. If the Senecas were to open a facility that had slots and table games, track officials believe it would severely hurt business and revenue at the racinos.
September 6, 2011
Posted By Terry Goodwin
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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