Industry Reports

Salamanca Bags Half of State Help, Seneca Nation Still Refuses to Support Host Community

The City of Salamanca recently bagged some US$2,350,000 amid a tough period including insufficient funds. The state allocated the amount, as the Seneca Nation of Indians has not offered gaming revenue allocations to the casino host community over the past two years.

Projections are that the overall US$4.7 million state support would make it possible for the host community to make payments of various projects and initiatives.

Casino operation is able to support a given host community in various ways throughout the years. This includes an increased flow of people making their way there in order to participate in gaming activities, as well as to enjoy family-friendly ones.

In addition to that, a casino venue is able to offer gaming revenue allocations on a regular basis, fueling various projects and roadworks. When it comes to tribal casino venues, there are certain specifics.

Salamanca in Need of Financial Help

Every Native American tribe inks a compact for operation with the state that arranges all details around the next decades of casino management. This includes the revenue distribution within the tribal community and the allocation earmarked for the state.

In Seneca Nation’s case, the compact was arranged in 2002. According to its language, the first 14 years of casino operation mandated regular allocations to the host community coffers. Salamanca, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls have benefitted from hefty sums on a regular basis up until the end of 2016.

This is when the allocation ceased, as the tribe claims that the compact for operation does not mandate payments past the 14th year of casino management. This spring saw an arbitration panel issue a statement that the Native American tribe has to pay US$255 million to the state.

Salamanca is in need of US$15 million that could be later on invested in roadworks related to State roads 219 and 417. Salamanca Mayor Michael Smith recently highlighted the issue and sought support by the state, as roadworks are also suffering from the lack of allocations.

Seneca Nation Continues Feud

The first portion of state help comes at a crucial point for the host community that is in need up support. The 2019-2020 budget mandates for serious rearrangements and spending more of the city coffer than it is able to afford at this point. December would bring the remaining half of the US$4.7 million but within the weeks ahead of it the state hopes for a turn of events.

The ongoing feud between the Native American tribe and the state could see a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties involved in it. If this actually happens, the second half of this state support would not be needed, as the US255 million are going to be a much-needed relief for all three of the casino host communities. September 11 saw two new firefighters being appointed at the local Salamanca Fire Department.

The first half of this state support is about to cover their regular payment. The State recently pointed out that the Native American tribe is making an attempt at tricking the system, as it misinterpreted the three-month window for objection within this dispute. Moreover, Seneca Nation of Indians sought the opinion of New York State’s Secretary of the Interior, as he has the potential to conduct a detailed review.