Counties in the U.S. State of New York are overly worried about what will happen in case the Seneca Nation ceases to pay its gaming revenue.
As things are, unless the state acts fast in ensuring that a new gaming compact is reached, all counties must look for means to fill up the casino revenue gap that will be left when the Seneca Nation’s casino revenue compact with the state expires.
Todd Gates, the President of Seneca Nation was elected almost six months ago in November 2016 and already is causing an ‘uprising’ on how casino revenue will remain in his territory to do development projects. If this happens, it is evident that most counties in the State of New York if not all will have numerous financial challenges.
It is barely two months ago when the tribal group through its president, Todd, wrote to Albany saying that they will no longer be releasing any casino payments to the state.
In the letter, when saying that the tribal group will not be making the payments, the President did not try to explain the reasons for this sudden event. All that the letter said was that as a group, for over 14 years, they have faithfully and loyally disbursed casino revenue to the state but that will cease.
Remember back in 2002 the Seneca Nation entered into a gaming deal. When they signed a deal, they agreed that 25% of the gambling revenue from the tribal group’s three casinos would be shared with the State of NY in exchange for the right of the tribal group offering Class III type of gaming in their land. It was also part of the deal that as long as the compact was binding, gambling would be done nearly everywhere especially the west part of NY’s Route 14.
Twelve years later in 2014, New York State made a decision that saw the state share 10% of the slots revenue with all counties located in the gaming region of Seneca.
So far, the State of New York has been able to collect almost $100 million every year through that revenue sharing package. According to financial experts, although it is not much money, the fact that it is prompt and that the state is sure of getting them every year, is reason enough to say that it helps in many development projects.
From the aggregate amount the state receives each year, each county receives almost $10 million. For instance, Niagara Falls County got a share of $800, 000 in 2016 thanks to the revenue sharing deal but the state has written the county explaining that it should no longer be waiting to receive any money from the state from the revenue sharing kitty.
However, recent statements from the Seneca Nation indicate that they are willing to engage the state for a fresh revenue compact deal.
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