For years, the Seneca Nation of Indians has been in a heated legal battle with New York lawmakers over their casino tax rate. It was one of the most high-profile cases involving a Native American group and state officials over the gaming industry to date. Fortunately, the Seneca Tribe’s legal dispute in New York has come to an end.
New York’s gambling industry is quickly expanding. The Seneca Nation appears ready to begin focusing more on this growth.
Here’s what you need to know about this situation.
A New Agreement has Ended the Seneca Tribe’s Legal Dispute in New York
New York is home to a large and successful casino industry. For a time, only Native American groups were legally able to operate Class III casinos in the state. Lawmakers approved a measure to allow for commercial casinos to operate in New York in 2013.
The Seneca Nation of Indians has been operating several casinos throughout Western New York for many years. Back in 2017, officials within the tribe filed a legal challenge to the state’s 25% tax rate on casino revenue. The Seneca Tribe immediately began withholding their tax payments while this legal challenge played out in the courts.
News broke this week that the Senate Tribe’s legal dispute has officially come to an end. Under the agreement, the tribe will pay $500 million in due tax money to the state. The Seneca Nation is hoping to see a new gaming compact passed that will allow the tribe to expand its number of available gambling options inside its casinos. Seneca Nation President Matthew Pagels spoke about the end of this legal quarrel to the media this week.
“Rather than pursue continued legal action, we believe we can now best address our concerns in a Compact with greater clarity on our obligations, and, as important, the obligations New York State has to the Nation in return,” Pagels said. “Furthermore, we want to see the momentum generated by our investments and operations continue to grow, and we look forward to building on our strong relationships with our neighbors in Niagara Falls, Salamanca and Buffalo. Now is the time to move forward.”
With the legal fight now over, the Seneca Tribe will likely begin looking at ways to increase its gaming revenue figures in New York. Now is a great time to look at some of the ways this state’s gambling industry has grown recently.
Sports Betting Revenue in New York Continues to Surge
New York has been home to one of the most passionate sporting fan bases for decades. It’s here that popular teams like the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets are based. Sports betting launched in this state back in 2019, yet only land-based sportsbooks inside casinos were legally able to operate.
As the years went on, lawmakers in New York realized how much money was flowing into neighboring New York and Pennsylvania. Residents only needed to cross into these state borders to make wagers on their favorite teams and players online. Eventually, a decision was made to launch online sports betting in New York.
The state’s first online sportsbooks officially went live last Saturday. In just the first two days of operating, the sportsbooks here set a new record for transactions received over a single weekend. This sent a clear message that New York was poised to become the new sports betting capital of the United States.
Officials in New Jersey are not pleased with this development. This state has been earning a tremendous amount of tax revenue from New York sports bettors since 2018. Most analysts expect to see a large drop in sports betting revenue reported in New Jersey over the month of January.
New York is not showing any signs of slowing down on its gambling expansion plans. New reports indicate several new casinos could be coming to this state soon.
Will a New York City Casino Start Being Constructed in 2022?
New York has never really been thought of as a major casino hub. Some may even be surprised to learn how many casinos are operating around the state. Most of the casinos here have struggled over the years, due partly to their location in the Upstate area.
A growing number of officials now support the move to open a new casino in New York City. Most agree a gambling property here would help to generate a massive amount of revenue. It will also help to drive tourism into New York City, city leaders argue.
Several reports have surfaced over the last few weeks claiming three new casinos could soon be opened in the New York City area. Concrete plans to open a gambling venue in the Big Apple have not been presented. Based on the progress being made, it would not be a shock to see a major casino-resort go under construction in New York City this year.
Lawmakers in the state are clearly beginning to embrace the gambling industry in a big way. Sports betting is now legal and available both in-person and online. All signs point to new casinos going under construction here, too.
The Seneca Tribe’s legal dispute is finally over. Expect to see this tribe working to allow forms of gambling inside its casinos over the next few years. Stay tuned for updates!