Senecas await casino ruling

Seneca President Maurice A. John Sr. has issued a request of the National Indian Gaming Commission chairman, who is examining options pertaining to the Seneca Nation of Indians‘ Buffalo Creek Casino.

The national agency recently issued a notice of violation to the Nation’s Gaming Corp., meaning the corporation is not meeting the commission’s requirements to operate its Buffalo casino. The notice came after Judge William Skretny ruled gaming could not occur on the Seneca’s nine-acre Buffalo site on which a USD 333 million casino was being built. His decision voided necessary approval by the national commission needed to operate a gaming facility.

“In order to correct the ongoing violation … the Nation can close its Buffalo … gaming facility within five days,“ reports the notice of violation issued by the national agency Wednesday. While gaming at a temporary Buffalo site continues, construction stopped on the permanent site within days of the judge’s ruling, reportedly due to economics.

Next, the national gaming chairman has discretion to stay any action pending resolution of the Sept. 3 Nation-requested appeal of the notice of violation.

“It is the Nation’s view that it has lawfully obtained all required government appeals and that decisions and orders (made by Skretny) on which the notice of violation is based, are wrong.“

He states the national agency has until Oct. 14 to decide whether to appeal the Skretny rulings. The national agency, and not the Seneca Nation, is a party to the Skretny suit filed by the Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County. If the federal government is successful appealing the Skretny rulings, John said, “the premise on which the notice of violation is based would be obiated and the Nation would be proven correct,“ said President John.

The national chairman could also issue a temporary closure order for the casino.