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Seneca Nation of New York

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The nation could have a casino operating in Niagara Falls next fall if members approve the compact between the state and tribal leaders as expected, a Seneca spokesman said. Richard Jemison said the tribe would open a temporary casino in the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center while a larger permanent casino is under construction. The permanent casino, which could include hotel and entertainment venues, would take about two years to build, he said. Five months after Seneca President Cyrus Schindler and Gov. George Pataki reached an agreement to bring casinos to Niagara Falls, Buffalo and one of the Senecas' two reservations in western New York, state lawmakers last week approved an unprecedented expansion of legalized gambling that allows the plans to go forward. The tribal council still has to review the new state legislation before submitting its compact to the governor for certification, Jemison said. He estimated that it would take about two weeks to finish the compact. Jemison speculated that a referendum could go before tribal voters by the end of November.

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