New York to stop receiving slots revenue

Seneca Nation announced that the next payment will be the last one they make to the state of New York.

US.- The Seneca Nation of Indians announced that it will stop sharing slots revenue with New York: the tribe’s three casinos in Niagara Falls, Salamanca and Buffalo contributed with 25 percent of the revenues.

The tribe has shared more than US$1.5 billion over the last few years, and the decision to stop all casino payments to the state seems like a stone along the way for Albany, which receives approximately US$110 million a year and distributes the money to host communities. According to tribe officials, they’re acting upon the terms of the compact that they signed in 2012, which established that they had to share 25 percent of the slot machine revenues from the three casinos.

Todd Gates, President of the Seneca Nation, said: “The Seneca Nation has followed the terms of our gaming compact since 2002 and we will continue to do so until it expires in 2023. As written in the compact, the Nation provided a share of our revenue to the state through the end of last year.” Other officials also confirmed that they’re bothered by the opening of multiple facilities in upstate New York, even if they didn’t reveal losses.

The Seneca representative explained that the compact is very explicit when it says that after the fourteenth year they have the right to stop payments, and that the state should’ve seen it coming since it’s been fifteen years. “We’re now in the 15th year of that compact. This is the Nation following the language of the compact.” He also said that even if the revenue share has ended, they remain committed to being good neighbors in the communities where they have gaming facilities and that they’re looking forward to work directly with them to continue the economic progress of Western New York.

The administration of New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo rejected the claims made by Gates and said: “It’s clear this payment structure remains in place. If the new leadership of the nation has questions, or a different interpretation of this, they haven’t shared them with us, but we’re willing to meet and discuss any issues.”