The Buffalo Bills of the NFL is the latest team to jump into the gambling arena, announcing last Friday that it had teamed up with a local casino operator. While the move itself isn’t too surprising – the continued expansion of sports gambling in the U.S. is resulting in a lot of NFL/casino marriages – the choice of the Bills could be considered a little puzzling. The Seneca Nation is now officially part of the Bills family.
The Bills broke the news about the new partnership last Friday. It finds Seneca Resorts and Casinos, which owns three venues in the state, as the “Official Casino of the Buffalo Bills,” according to the team’s owner, Pegula Sports and Entertainment. It sees the launch of a newly-branded Seneca Studios at One Bills Drive, as well as promotional material and marketing activity by Seneca at the stadium.
The two entities are introducing their new relationship by holding the “Ultimate Billieve RV Giveaway.” It will see someone win a 2019 Thor Motor Coach Four Winds 35v recreational vehicle (RV), as well as two 2020 Buffalo Bills seasons tickets. Dan Misko, the senior VP of business development for Pegula, adds of the partnership, “Seneca Gaming’s commitment to elevating the guest experience is directly in line with our goal of focusing on the fan. We’re proud to expand our partnership with Seneca Resorts & Casinos and work together to create memorable experiences for Bills fans, who we place first in all that we do.”
The arrangement could be puzzling to some because of the reputation the Seneca tribe has in the state. It has repeatedly been accused of violating the gaming compact that it signed with state lawmakers and holding back on what are allegedly required payments worth millions of dollars. The tribe and New York are now looking to a federal court to decide how they should move forward, but this hasn’t stopped New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from taking measures to show his displeasure.
Of the partnership with the Bills, Seneca’s senior VP of marketing and chief marketing officer, Melissa Free, adds, “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the Buffalo Bills and expand our relationship with Pegula Sports & Entertainment. Seneca Resorts & Casinos always strives to elevate our guest experience and this partnership brings even more opportunities for play both on and off the field. This is a collaboration of great teams coming together!”