June 24, 2024 3 min read


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NY Assemblyman Criticizes the Lack of a New Tribal Compact

Ricky Armstrong, president of the Seneca Nation, described the negotiations as “painstaking, frustrating and disappointing at times”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s inaction when it comes to forming a new gaming compact with the Seneca Nation of Indians doesn’t sit well with assemblyman Joseph Giglio.

Despite being vital to the regional economy of Western New York, the compact seems to be low on the priority list of lawmakers. As a result, the Assembly and Senate failed to finalize a compact deal with the tribal nation before the closure of the legislative session.

Giglio regretted that every time a deal has been proposed, something has happened to derail the talks. The lack of new compact means that the state will enter its third three-month compact extension with the Seneca Nation.

The original compact, however, is now over two-decades-old. Originally negotiated in 2002, the compact was set to expire in December 2023. A new arrangement, Giglio believes, would significantly benefit the economy of the western part of the state and therefore must be negotiated quickly.

As the chances to negotiate a new deal prior to the original compact’s expiration, the Seneca Nation and Hochul’s government agreed to extend the older deal automatically every quarter until a new agreement is negotiated.

The Current Deal Is Outdated

Giglio emphasized the importance of a new compact, arguing that it is of crucial importance to the economy of the state. He pointed out that the nation’s tribal casinos are contributing roughly $1 billion per year to Western New York and are one of the region’s largest employers.

The Seneca Nation employs some 6,000 people, many of which are non-native, highlighting the tribe’s contributions to the overall Western New York economy.

Despite that, the negotiations have not been progressing too well, according to Ricky Armstrong, president of the Seneca Nation. Armstrong described the process as “painstaking, frustrating and disappointing at times” but still vowed to continue negotiating a fair and mutually-beneficial deal.

Armstrong’s sentiments were echoed by Giglio who said that it is time to finalize a fair deal for the benefit of everyone in Western New York. He hopes that lawmakers will convene for an extraordinary legislative session this summer, providing New York with another shot at negotiating a new compact.

Giglio urged Hochul and her team to sit down with the Seneca Nation leaders and forge a new compact as soon as possible.

For context, the original compact allowed the tribe to exclusively offer gambling to its guests, so long as it shared 25% of its slots revenue with the state. However, New York has since loosened up its gambling rules, allowing commercial gaming as well and, by extension, hurting the tribal sector.

As a result, the nation and the state need to strike a new deal that takes the current market context into mind.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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