Buffalo Creek Casino gets new federal approval
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January 29, 2009
BUFFALO, NY - The Seneca Indian Nation has received new approval from the
federal government to continue operating its Buffalo Creek Casino and to proceed
with construction of its new permanent one.
Seneca President Barry E. Snyder Sr. said the National Indian Gaming Commission
has approved an amended gaming ordinance with the tribe. "The Seneca Nation is
pleased that its Buffalo Creek Casino is endorsed and free to remain open and
operating. Construction of its $333 million permanent version will also be free
to continue when the Seneca Gaming Corp. determines the time is right."
Snyder continued, "The new Interior Department interpretation promulgated in
June clarifies that gaming is permitted on restricted fee land without the need
for any specific regulatory approval beyond what the [Seneca] National already
The Seneca Indians are operating the Buffalo Creek Casino in a temporary
building and constructing a permanent one. After construction began, U.S.
Federal Judge William Skretny ruled the gaming approval from the federal
government was "arbitrary and capricious" thus halting the construction.
Now with the affirmation for the U.S. Department of Interior and the National
Indian Gaming Commission that the Seneca's have the legal right to build the
casino, the tribe will resume construction. No timetable for proceeding has yet
The tribe has been operating their temporary casino continuously since last
summer despite Judge Skretny's ruling.
Those who sued in opposition to the Buffalo Creek Casino are not giving up the
fight. "This is no surprise whatsoever," said Joel Rose, Vice Chair of Citizens
Against Casino Gambling In Erie County. "The NIGC is not an impartial judicial
agency, it is an active advocate within the government for Indian gambling
interests," Rose said.
"We still have a motion before the court which asks the judge to require the
NIGC to close down the current casino, and/or find its commissioners in contempt
for failing to do so as he previously ruled they should."
Return to New York Casinos.