Gov. Cuomo called on to resolve N.Y. gambling compact disagreement

Gov. Cuomo called on to resolve N.Y. gambling compact disagreement

February 23, 2018 8:39 AM
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The continuing gambling compact disagreement between New York State and the Seneca Nation of Indians has prompted Niagara County officials to call on the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) to resolve the conflict.

Niagara County official Clyde Burmaster told the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal this week, “This has been going on way too long,”

Nearly a year ago the tribe stopped disbursing its gambling revenue sharing payments to the state, claiming it has fulfilled its 2002 casino compact financial obligations. Seneca believes its revenue-sharing agreement calls for an automatic rollover upon expiration, but the legal pact no longer requires the tribe continue to send in tax checks to New York State.

Niagara County, the host community of the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, had received about $800,000 each year as part of the revenue-sharing arrangement, money largely used by the county for tax relief in addition to economic and community development.

Host towns and municipalities surrounding the tribe’s two other casinos, Seneca Buffalo and Seneca Allegany, have also been cut off. 

Niagara County legislators also filed a resolution this week with the state, demanding the issue be resolved with retroactive payments that would cover the past year. The county says it has only about $47,600 remaining in its community development fund.

Local media report the Seneca Nation is believed to be unhappy with the massive statewide gambling expansion that tribal leaders believe threatens their commercial casinos.