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Seneca Nation of New York

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The nation might wait until next year to vote on a proposed casino deal with the state while sorting through provisions referring to cigarette taxes and other issues, Seneca leaders said. Some Senecas have called troubling the inclusion of unionization for casino workers, liability for lawsuits and a weakening of the nation's tribal sovereignty in the new gambling law signed Oct. 31 by Gov. George Pataki, The Buffalo News reported in Nov. 9 editions. As a result, Seneca leaders are not sure when they might resume negotiations with the state or schedule a vote for the nation's members on the proposed compact. The deal would allow the Senecas to build casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and on one of their two western New York reservations. "It might not be until next year,'' Seneca President Cyrus Schindler said Nov. 8. Gambling proponents had hoped to get an Indian casino operating in western New York by the spring of 2002, but before that can happen, Seneca members, and the BIA, must approve it. Senecas who have reviewed the gambling legislation said it goes far beyond the initial agreement reached with Pataki in June.

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