The City of Niagara Falls is in some serious trouble at the moment. A recent audit has suggested that the city will run out of money by the end of 2017. This is due to the Seneca Nation of Indians halting their casino revenue sharing program with the state of New York. The city of Niagara Falls has depended on payments from the Seneca Nation’s casinos in order to make up for any deficits in its budget.
Niagara Falls Budget Short without Casino Revenue
The city of Niagara Falls has been urged to take immediate, drastic action to address its financial shortfalls, due to the lack of payments from the Seneca Niagara Casino. The Seneca Nation is currently refusing to pay New York state the usual percentage of its slot gambling revenue, due to a contract dispute.
The city of Niagara Falls is currently caught in the middle. The city has apparently been using around $9 million of casino money every year to support its budget. However, since the payments have stopped, the city hasn’t changed its spending habits. The amount of money received by Niagara Falls fluctuates from year to year. This depended on how much money the casino made. In 2013, the city received $14.2 million, while 2016 saw just $12.3 million.
Seneca Nation Dispute with New York
The Seneca nation stopped making payments to the state of New York in March. It claimed it was no longer under any obligation to do so. The Seneca nation had an agreement with the state, running from 2002 until the end of 2016. The compact had a clause saying that it would automatically be renewed for another seven years if neither party had an objection.
It was automatically renewed; however, the Seneca Nation is making a rather bold claim. They’re claiming that the compact says nothing about the revenue sharing agreement continuing after the renewal. New York disagrees and is trying to sort the matter out.
Niagara Falls is confident it has enough cash reserves to make it through the disagreement. However, the future of the revenue sharing between the Seneca’s casinos and the state remains uncertain.