The dispute between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the state of New York is expected to finally be resolved. On Monday, Seneca Nation Council passed a resolution to transfer funds from limited escrow accounts to address the tribe’s claims of outstanding gaming revenue. Therefore, you have to pay off about $565 million in financial obligations for the Empire State.
Back in 2017, the tribe stopped paying gaming revenue to the state, claiming it violated an expanded gaming contract. Then, in January this year, the country’s president, Matthew Pagees, announced that he would respect the money paid by the tribe, but some of the members branded the decision invalid because they did not vote in Congress.
On Monday, the Seneca National Council held a special meeting and voted in favor of a motion directing the transfer of funds to settle disputes with the imperial state. The resolution called for the transfer of US$564,842,625.20 from a limited escrow account with accumulated compact-related funds during the five-year dispute. This amount is from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2021.
The resolution also lifted restrictions that had been imposed on some bank accounts and businesses in the country. According to the tribe, even though the state knew that the secured accounts had enough funds to cover contract-related obligations, their accounts were unfairly targeted by the state and frozen in blatant acts of aggression.
At the meeting, Pagees pointed out that when Albany tries to hold its citizens and thousands of people in western New York City hostage, the “National” cannot stand by. This account freeze has put people who provide medical and educational services to their people at risk. With the transfer of funds, the National is now ready to start a new round of close negotiations.
According to Mr. Page’s, the Nation has played a major role in the revival of western New York’s economy thanks to three casino buildings in Buffalo, Salamanca and Niagara Falls. He argues that when the two sides first produced the game 20 years ago, the state promised the Nation exclusive rights to the game, which didn’t really exist and must be addressed in the new agreement.
In addition, Seneca Nation’s mothers, who opposed January’s payment decision, also issued a statement on Monday. The group commented over the weekend that the state used strong coercive tactics to freeze the country’s bank accounts. According to them, the move violated a federal order, because the tribe had more time to issue the funds.
Earlier, Kathy Hochul, a spokeswoman for the governor, explained that the state has been waiting for payments from Seneca State since April 12, 2019.