Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why the Seneca Nation may have a case

The Seneca Nation Gaming Corporation has been withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in gambling revenue from New York State. It pains me to say it, but they may have a case.

It should have been obvious years ago to anyone who was willing to read the Gaming Compact between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the State of New York:
12(a)(1) Subject to [the next paragraph] the Nation shall have total exclusivity with respect to the installation and operation of ... Gaming Devices, including slot machines, within the geographic area defined by: (i) to the east, State Route 14 from Sodus Point to the Pennsylvania border with New York; (ii) to the north, the border between New York and Canada; (iii) to the south, the Pennsylvania border with New York; and (iv) to the west, the border between New York and Canada and the border between Pennsylvania and New York.
With "Video Lottery Terminals" (VLTs) installed at the Erie County Fairgrounds and elsewhere, it was only a matter of time before the Senecas decided to play this card and cut New York State out of the deal entirely. What's the difference between a VLT and a modern slot machine? Not much, it seems.


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