Niagara Falls has become a popular gambling destination for Canadians and Americans, with a good selection of casinos on both sides of the border. However, across the border in the United States, things aren’t looking all that great for the city of Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is part of New York State, which is currently having a dispute with the Seneca Nation of Indians. The Seneca run three casinos throughout the state of New York, including one in Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls Hurt by Casino Revenue Halt
Back in March 2017, the Seneca Nation of Indians halted all gambling-related payments to the state of New York. Many cities, such as Niagara Falls, rely on these payments to help boost the city’s budget. The city is in serious trouble, indicating that it will have completely depleted its cash reserves by the end of the year. The city needs the Seneca Niagara Casino to resume its revenue sharing program for slot machines to make up its budget deficit.
Niagara Falls suspended all non-essential spending back in July 2017 and is currently looking into the 2018 budget. The city is looking for every bit of money that it can save, in the event an agreement between New York and Seneca is not reached.
New York and Seneca War of Words
As we said, the Seneca casinos stopped sharing revenue with New York state back in March 2017. This was due to the fact that the tribe believes it has completed the original agreement it signed with the state. The original compact ran for 14 years, and the tribe says that the agreement does not state that payments must continue after the agreement has ended.
New York state strongly disagrees with this interpretation, saying the compact automatically renews for seven-years upon completion. New York is demanding the Seneca Nation of Indians meet with them for arbitration. The head of the Nation has said they are ready for arbitration, as they have completed the compact, but New York state has not. The tribe also says that New York violated the compact when it allowed the construction of seven new casinos.
Only time will tell how the situation across our border in Niagara Falls will develop.