Buffalo Bills Become Latest NFL Team to Announce Casino Sponsorship

  • New York-based Seneca Resorts & Casinos becomes first official casino partner
  • Tribe operates three venues in the state
  • The Bills hope his relationship will help improve fan engagement
  • Concerns about this partnership exist due to the tribe’s conflict with the state government
Buffalo Bills helmet on display.
Seneca Resorts & Casinos has become the first official casino partner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. [Image: Shutterstock]

Getting in on the action

The Buffalo Bills have become the fifth NFL team to announce a casino sponsorship deal. The AFC East team has named New York-based Seneca Resorts & Casinos as their first official casino partner.

This partnership was announced by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Bills. A dedicated Seneca Studios will be developed at the team’s headquarters to create exclusive content as part of the agreement.

fifth NFL team to announce a casino sponsorship deal

The Seneca tribe will also have prime real estate in the stadium to advertise their gambling facilities in the region. Three gambling facilities operate under the control of the Seneca Nation in New York.

Giveaway for fans

To celebrate this new partnership, the two entities have launched a massive giveaway called the “Ultimate Billieve RV Giveaway.”

The winner will receive a brand new RV from Thor Motor Coach Winds. They will also receive two Bills season tickets for the 2020 NFL season.

The Bills are planning to build levels of fan engagement through this new partnership. They want to elevate the in-stadium experience for those attending games. 

Some controversy

This new partnership is interesting as the Seneca tribe does not have the best reputation in the state of New York. 

There have been numerous battles over the years between the tribe and the state government relating to gaming compacts. According to state lawmakers, as per the compact they signed with the tribe, millions of dollars are owed to the state from Seneca-owned gambling facilities.

As a result of the failure to make these payments, the state government is taking the issue to a federal court to determine what should happen next.

State-tribe gaming compact

The Seneca tribe was given approval to offer gambling in New York as long as they gave a 25% cut of their profits from slot machines to the state government. This gaming compact expired in 2017 and there have been tensions ever since. 

Since the ending of this agreement, the tribe has not made any such payments to the state. In retaliation, Governor Andrew Cuomo is refusing to have sections of roads running through the tribe’s land repaired until there is a resolution to the dispute.

As reported by The Buffalo News, this three-mile-long road is in such a bad condition that it is crumbling in places, making it extremely unsafe.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is refusing to have sections of roads running through the tribe’s land repaired

The gaming compact between the tribe and the state automatically renewed for another 14 years automatically upon the expiration date. However, the tribe claims that as part of this automatic renewal clause, there was no mention of a renewal of the payment obligations. 

Other NFL casino deals

It was in September 2018 that the NFL allowed teams to start accepting casino sponsors. This is allowed as long as the teams are not promoting sportsbooks. To date, four other teams have such sponsorships in place.

The Dallas Cowboys partner is the WinStar World Casino Resort in nearby Oklahoma. The Baltimore Ravens have a partnership with the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and the Green Bay Packers are partnering with the Oneida Nation tribe in Wisconsin. The newly established Las Vegas Raiders have a 15-year deal in place with Caesars Entertainment.

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