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July 11, 2008

BUFFALO, NY - The Seneca Nation announced it will keep its Buffalo Creek Casino open while it battles the federal court decision Tuesday that ruled its operation illegal. Seneca President Maurice John said Wednesday the ruling did not order the closing of the temporary casino nor does it halt construction of the permanent casino.

"The litigation is not final. All district court decisions are subject to appeal," John said. "The Seneca Nation has faced many challenges to our progress in our 1,000-year struggle of survival. This is but another. I am confident that we will be successful in achieving the destiny of the Seneca people."

U.S. District Judge William Skretny acknowledged the 9-acre casino site qualifies as "Indian lands" under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, but since it was purchased by the tribe in 2005 and not a land claim, it does not qualify for gaming.

The Seneca have hired Laurence Tribe, a U.S. Supreme Court scholar, for consultation and guidance as the tribe considers its legal recourses.

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