Last week, Gov. Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Snyder announced an agreement to resolve their long-running dispute over gambling revenues and related issues. The agreement is the third in the last four weeks that the state has reached with Indian Nations or tribes.
Under the agreement, New York State recognizes and reconfirms the Seneca Nation’s gaming exclusivity in Western New York, while the Nation will resume payments to the state and local host communities and make pro-rated repayments for amounts that were in dispute.
Casino host communities in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and the Salamanca area will receive their full 25% share of local impact payments, a total of $140 million. The state and the Seneca Nation will split the remaining monies, with the Nation keeping $209 million.
The Seneca Nation also received an extension on its gambling compact to 2023, and the Cuomo administration will require the three “racinos” (racetrack VLT parlors) located in Western New York stop marketing themselves as “casinos.”
Gov. Cuomo said:
“This agreement marks the beginning of a new chapter between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York State, built on trust and mutual respect….This agreement is a major victory for Western New York, the taxpayers, the local governments, and the members of the Seneca Nation, and I commend President Barry Snyder and the leadership of the Nation for their hard work in helping reach this landmark agreement.”
We are very pleased that Niagara Fall, Salamanca and Buffalo will be “made whole” under this agreement. The host communities did not violate any agreements, and should not have been punished.