Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino Overcomes Another Legal Hurdle
An appeals court in Manhattan affirmed on Tuesday a lower court’s ruling that the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo, New York, is operated in accordance with federal laws.
Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County, a group of opponents of the said casino, gclub filed a lawsuit against it claiming that it should not have been given the green light by federal officials.
The Tuesday ruling of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed a decision issued by Buffalo District Judge William Skretny that the Seneca Nation, which runs the Buffalo-based gambling venue, had been authorized to manage its Buffalo Creek Territory as well as other territories that had been purchased in accordance with the 1990 Seneca Nation Settlement Act.
In addition, both courts claimed that the Seneca Nation had complied with the provisions of the federally issued Indian Gaming Regulatory Act when opening its Buffalo gambling property.
Commenting on the Tuesday decision, Maurice John Sr., President of the Seneca Nation, said that they have been working closely together with the federal government, the state of New York, and Buffalo since the casino first opened doors. He further noted that the Nation appreciates the fact that the court supported it in its legal fight against opponents of the gaming facility.
Mr. John also said that they will keep on trying to protect their lands and sovereign rights and to exercise them in order to benefit their people as well as those around them.
Not long ago, the Seneca Nation announced that it plans to expand Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. Construction works are scheduled to begin next month and the Nation is to spend more than $40 million on the expansion. About 300 new jobs are expected to be created as a result from the multi-million project.
Cornelius D. Murray, an Albany-based attorney for the plaintiffs, said in an e-mail that they are disappointed with the court’s decision but have not decided yet whether they would appeal it. Mr. Murray pointed out that he found it really alarming that a divestment of state land could be effectuated by the Congress without this being stated expressly and without knowing where exactly the land will be. Thus, Buffalo, Erie County, and the state of New York do not have any authority over the portion of land in downtown Buffalo, where the casino is located.