Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter suggested in a statement today that a resolution can be had with the state when it comes to expanding casino gaming in New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed the expansion in his broad economic agenda outlined Sunday afternoon, but such a move would take a constitutional amendment, a time-consuming process that includes approval of two separate sessions of the Legislature.

Table-top gaming for the state’s American Indian tribes is a cash cow and major source of employment.

An expansion would likely lead to a casino built in the Catskills region, a 2-hour driving time from New York City and its suburbs.

New York has had strained relations with the Indian nations over the past several years after a plan to tax tobacco products sold on reservations went into effect.

Here’s Porter’s statement.

“In his comments Sunday, Gov. Cuomo acknowledged the reality that New York already has gambling. The Seneca Nation, with three destination properties, will continue to be part of this discussion. Working with the state since 2002, the Nation invested $900 million in three casinos and created thousands of jobs that have a significant economic multiplier effect.”
“Let’s keep the big picture in focus: Seneca gaming works and right now it’s the only gambling mechanism that provides economic benefits to the state and its people, and will continue to for years before any amendment might be put to a vote.”
“New Yorkers have every right to discuss expanded gaming outside our exclusivity zone. As a business partner with the state, we disagree over racino in our zone. But the issue of the state breaching Seneca exclusivity will be arbitrated and resolved. In the meantime and the future, the Nation will continue to be a leader in this area of economic development.”

Update: New York Gaming Association President James Featherstonhaugh issued a more update assessment of the proposal.

“We are pleased to hear of Governor Cuomo’s support for legalizing enhanced commercial gaming in New York State, which will create tens of thousands of much-needed jobs, generate hundreds of millions in additional state revenues and stimulate significant private sector investment. We look forward to working with the Governor to implement these changes in a focused and socially responsible manner.”