Since the beginning, when sports betting became legal in the US, the NFL was one of the major leagues at the forefront of getting involved with gambling partnerships. Recently they renewed their partnership with Sportsradar, and this resulted in more individual teams partnering up with gambling sponsors. Buffalo Bills was the most recent of all, after signing off on an agreement between them and Seneca Nation as their gambling sponsor.
Seneca Nation is a tribal-owned local casino operator affiliated with Seneca Resorts and Casinos, with three locations conveniently situated on the westside of New York. Their position was one of the reasons why the Buffalo Bills decided upon them. Since the state of New York still hasn’t legalized mobile betting within the state, punters still need to place their wagers at a landbased location. The location of these three casino’s is in such a way that those punters betting on the Bills and not situated within the city can do so with a shorter distance to travel.
A New Relationship
The Pegula family, owners of the Buffalo Bills, proudly announced the new partnership shortly before the launch of the Seneca Studios set at One Bills Drive. The freshly branded studio, as well as some marketing activity at New Era Field by Seneca Nation, are only the start of a much broader campaign to celebrate the new relationship. Giveaways which fans can expect an RV as well as many 2020 season tickets to Buffalo Bills games. This is clear that from the start they are placing their focus on the fans, as senior VP at Pegula for business development, Dan Misko announced.
The major problem at the moment for Seneca Nation amidst all these celebrations is a dispute between them and the state of New York, which has been coming along since 2016. During 2016 an agreement between the country and the tribal-owned casino was automatically renewed. The contract required that 25% of all revenue from slot machines should be paid to the state. When the agreement renewed, the tribal leaders didn’t consider that part of the agreement to still be useful. The state, however, sees matters differently and requires that Seneca Nation pays the amount which is estimated at $220 million. The agreement has reached such a level recently where the state refused to do maintenance and repairs on the Interstate 90 which is closely located at Seneca Nation’s venues.
Further steps to enforce the casino to pay up might be taken by the state, which might prohibit any sports betting activity by Seneca Nation. Even though both parties are currently waiting on the legal system to advise how they must proceed, it doesn’t prevent Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor, to take such drastic steps. This will do detrimental damage to this newly founded partnership, and currently, the hope remains that this dispute can finally be resolved before the NFL season kicks off very soon.