The leader of the Seneca Nation wants a fair gaming compact

The leader of the Seneca Nation wants a fair gaming compact

The 20th anniversary of the gaming compact between New York State and the Seneca Nation of Indians was celebrated this week. Matthew Pagels, President of the Nation, said at the press conference that he wants to see a new and fair gaming compact signed with the state.

The tribe signed a gaming compact with the Empire State back in 2002. Over the years, the Nation has had a significant economic impact on Western New York and contributed to its recovery. The compact won’t be renewed next year.

Negotiations have already started

The gaming sector in New York has changed over the last 20 years since the Nation received exclusive rights, according to Mr. Pagels. The industry has expanded as new casinos and racinos have opened in the region, and it is affecting the Nation’s business.

When the nation’s first casino opened in 2002, there were 10 casinos across New York, Connecticut, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Ontario, according to the tribe’s spokesman. More than 50 gaming properties are located in the same area. Mr. Pagels said that this has definitely affected the tribe’s operations.

The Nation pays 25% of slot machine and VLT revenue to the state, and last year Mr. Pagels stated that this rate is way too high. He refused to admit that the rate is too stiff, despite the fact that the gaming scenery has changed a lot. He said that the process is a negotiation and that speculations are not appropriate.

The president shared that the Nation has begun talks with the state just over a year before the current contract ends. The administration of Gov. Kathy Hochul has confirmed this. According to her office, the executive chamber and the NYSGC have started discussions with the Nation and are hopeful for the best result for the state.

The President says there is no looking back

The recent relationship between the Empire State and the Seneca Nation could be said to be the opposite of perfect. In April, the state took drastic measures to force the Nation to fulfill its slot revenue payments. Mr. Pagels said that the nation is optimistic about the new compact and that there is no looking back.

In July, the Native American nation launched its new campaign to raise awareness about the tribe’s history and many contributions to the local economy of New York named # StandWithSeneca. There were paid television and radio advertisements, billboards in certain markets, as well as social media messaging and community engagement. According to the tribe, it has a website called

TheSeneca Nation president is seeking a fair, new gaming compact.


Matthew Pagels, president of the Seneca Nation of Indians, wants a new and fair gaming compact signed with the state’s administration. The tribe signed a gaming compact with the Empire State in 2002 which allowed it to enter the local gaming scene. Next year is when the compact expires.