Niagara Falls, New York is among the communities that have benefited from casino allocations for many years. Ever since March 2017, this has not been its reality and the impact is visible by the budget and the recent loan that local officials had to take.
Now it has been confirmed that New York State is preparing to support the community with some US$12.3 million of an emergency payment. The added benefit of a gambling venue operation for the host community is always the gaming revenue allocation that goes to the city coffers.
This is a percentage of the revenue, which fuels various projects across the town, beautification work, the parks and recreation projects, and more. Tourists make their way to Niagara Falls on the regular because of its natural appeal, but Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino makes them stay even longer.
Casino Allocations Fund Community
This July is eyed with concern, as it is projected to exhaust the last bits of the US$12-million loan Niagara Falls officials bagged at the beginning of the fiscal year. It was supposed to fill the gaping hole in the city budget, left by Seneca Nation of Indians missing payments and this is what it did for several months.
Over the past almost half a year the loan was able to provide cash for various local projects while local officials continue warning about its approaching exhaustion. This is projected to happen within the next few weeks and only help from the state could keep Niagara Falls afloat.
It could be recalled that this potential outcome of the legal battle was projected back in September 2018, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed his desire to help.
Back then, he said that the state would be ready with a US$12.3 million financial support for Niagara Falls if local officials consider it necessary. What should be taken into account is that the tribal nation overseeing casino venues across New York State might have to pay some US$255,877,747.44 to the state.
New York State Aids the City
City Controller Daniel Morello made it clear that the casino revenue allocation is needed at this point, as there are many areas of the local operation that depend on the regular funding. There is a specter of operations and projects linked to it and very soon they would feel the impact of insufficient cash. At the moment, the state is working on the money allocation to Niagara Falls, as this would take some time.
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Mayor Paul Dyster made it clear that the wheels are turning and very soon the first slice of the overall amount of cash would have to make its way to the city coffers. Two weeks will be needed for the payment, once the need arises and the city coffers run dry. The Seneca Nation of Indians recently decided to use the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and file a federal lawsuit against the arbitration panel that sought continued allocations.
The Native American tribe claims that the three-party arbitration panel has no authority to change the compact for operation that does not mandate regular payments following the 14th year of casino operation in New York State. Gov. Cuomo’s Spokesperson stated that this move was a calculated one and a “stall tactic” aiming to gain some time.