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Seneca Nation leader responds to state's casino amendment


The Seneca Nation of Indians responded to Wednesday night’s passage of a constitutional amendment to permit casino gaming in New York State.

Seneca president Robert Odawi Porter said the state must honor the Nation’s exclusivity. 

The Seneca’s and the state have a casino gaming compact that allows the Seneca’s to operate its casinos.

President Porter issued the following statement:

“We remain skeptical of this initial decision. We still have concerns for our $1 billion business, the people of our Nation, our 5,000 employees, our vendors and customers and protecting our $900 million investment in this region.

“We do, however, expect the state will do the right thing and honor the 2002 compact. As a matter of existing state law, we have 13 years remaining on the guarantee of our zone of gaming exclusivity.

“We will continue to work with legislators and the governor’s staff to ensure that current law is honored and respected. We also want to thank those in the Legislature who have stood with us and expressed their concerns for the jobs the Seneca Nation has created in Western New York and for their acknowledgment of the important economic contributions made by Seneca gaming.”

Batavia Downs is applauding the state’s approval of the casino gaming deal. 
Batavia Downs calls it the “first step to allow full casino gaming at seven non-Indian sites.”

Batavia Downs Casino is the only municipally owned casino in the state -- 15-counties in Western New York and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester.

Batavia Downs issued the following statement:

“We look forward to the dialogue of Batavia being one of the seven for full casino gaming.  Western Regional OTB/Batavia Downs Casino h as returned over $200 million to its local municipal owners since its inception.”

“We will work with our Western New York delegation and the Governor to make sure Batavia Downs is one of the approved full gaming venues in the state.”