A non-Native coalition of New York gaming companies has formed to have a say in a new Seneca tribal agreement with the state. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Coalition wants a fair deal
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is one of the main reasons a new political coalition consisting of an upstate New York casino and three video lottery racetracks has emerged so successful.
The Fair Compact for All Coalition (FCAC) announced its formation at X on Wednesday to “ensure a transparent and fair process” in New York State’s new gaming compact with the Seneca Nation:
FCAC said it is fighting to protect its own operational future and that of the New York communities that frequent its venues. Communities, the coalition says, have “become dependent on the success of the four non-U.S. gaming companies.”
Any new Seneca gaming contract, FCAC said, must “protect the future viability” of both its gaming operations and its communities.
On his website FCAC reported that its members pay an annual gambling tax of $180 millionmost of which goes from state coffers to New York education aid.
The FCAC coalition is comprised of Finger Lakes and Western New York casinos and racinos, including Batavia Downs, del Lago Resort and Casino, Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack and Hamburg Gaming.
The $180 million, according to FCAC, is “significantly more than the annual revenues the Seneca Nation has shared with Western New York communities over the life of its existing compact.”
While the FCAC harassed the Seneca Nation over taxes, Chris Riegle, president and general manager of Finger Lakes Gaming, stabbed both the tribe and the Hochul government in the face.
Accordingly Spectrum News 1 On Wednesday, Finger Lakes Gaming’s general manager told the FCAC cannot and does not want to tolerate any late-night deals. that lack transparency, public input and data-driven economic analysis.”
Riegle’s “Middle of the Night” reference is a thinly veiled attack on how close the Hochul administration and the Seneca Nation came to getting New York State to approve a bill that would have given the tribe the right to live in Rochester to build a casino. State lawmakers sounded the alarm at the last minute about the two parties’ “secret” agreement.
The clock is ticking
The formation of the coalition and Riegle’s comments reflect the deep concerns of FCAC members as the current Seneca Gaming contract approaches its Dec. 9 expiration date.
As for the Senecas, Spectrum quoted the tribe as saying its three casinos in the state are responsible for thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in wages and over $1 billion “in annual economic impact to the region.”
FCAC stuck its nose where it didn’t belong
The tribe also basically said that FCAC is sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. The Senecas said FCAC “represents competing gaming interests that engage in government-to-government negotiations.”