Arbitration between The Sate of NY and Seneca Nation Gaming has been settled. Mayor Brown has announced that an Arbitration Panel has ruled in the favor of the State, which means that the City of Buffalo will benefit from the slot revenues. Brown says that those anticipated revenues will go a long way towards balancing the municipal budget. Seneca Nation Gaming will have to resume its (over) $100 million-a-year casino revenue payments to the State and host cities (25 percent of its slot machine revenues in NYS), according to NewYorkUpstate.
“I want to thank Governor Cuomo, our Legislative Leaders, the Western New York delegation, and the Common Council who have stood by and for the impacted communities throughout this process. I also want to thank the members of the Arbitration Panel for their tireless work in resolving this matter,” Mayor Brown said. “All of these efforts sustained my confidence that, in the end, the City would ultimately receive the revenue from the Seneca Nation that we have consistently budgeted for and relied upon. I am pleased, but not surprised, by this news, and hope that this will put to rest any further speculation regarding the City’s solid financial position.”
Moving forward, the Seneca Nation will have to report its estimated earnings to the State, which will then be distributed per percentages outlined in the Compact. The new revenue estimates will reflect slot moneys that represent up to date slot machine numbers, which were increased at Seneca Creek in Fall of 2017. Payments ceased being distributed to the State back in March 2017 over legal disputes.
“The decision by the arbitration panel is the right conclusion and the outcome we had hoped for from the start. The Seneca Nation Gaming slot revenue share has been a critical revenue stream for our City and we look forward to having those millions of dollars flowing to the City again in the very near future,” Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen said. “I want to thank the Governor, the Mayor, the Western New York Delegation, and my Common Council colleagues for their continued efforts to have this significant revenue issue decided through binding arbitration. We look forward to working with the Seneca Nation, which is a valuable stakeholder and partner in the City of Buffalo.”
“I am confident that going forward the State, City and Seneca Nation can work together harmoniously and ensure that the communities where the Seneca Nation has a gaming presence will remain safe, vibrant and strong. I would also like to commend the Seneca Nation for entering into the arbitration process and anticipate that they will abide by the decision of the panel,” Mayor Brown said.