Seneca Tribe Paid $57.3 million to New York From Slots Revenues

On August 12th, 2008, the Seneca Indian Tribe has made a $57.3 million payment of slot machine revenues to New York, including a $2.8 million generated by the embattled Seneca Buffalo Creek slots establishment in the city of Buffalo. One quarters of those earnings-$14.3 million -will be given to host communities like Niagara Falls and Salamanca. Absence of a revenue sharing agreement in Buffalo will result in $708,302 being placed in the state account until a sharing agreement is finalized.

Seneca President Maurice A. John Sr. confirmed that the payment was made by the June 30th deadline for revenues produced by the slot machines at the Seneca Niagara, Seneca Allegany and Seneca Buffalo Creek casinos between July 1st, 2007 and December 31st, 2007. The payout is the first from the temporary casino in Buffalo, which opened on July 3rd, 2007. John said that their organization have made thousands of jobs for residents, opportunities for businesses in the area and the needed revenue for the local government.

He added that Buffalo will see the effects of the Seneca Tribe’s investment in the long run. Buffalo and Erie County are currently at odds regarding their shares of slots profits-which could be as high as $7 million annually when a planned permanent casino facility is fully functioning-should be divided. But any local share discussion might be useless because of the long-term future of the Seneca casino in Buffalo is currently in questioned.

Just recently, U.S. District Judge William Skretny decided that the National Indian Gaming Commission had made some errors in giving the Seneca Tribe a permit to manage a casino on a nine acre location in Michigan Avenue. Despite Skretny’s decision, the construction of the permanent Buffalo casino and hotel facility has continued at full speed. Around 40 percent of the structural steel for the 3 story, ninety thousand square feet casino facility has been built over the past month.

Seneca Gaming Corporation spokesperson Philip J. Pantano commented that the steel for the twenty-two story hotel tower will begin going up in December 2008 or January 2009 and the building of the 2,500 vehicle parking will start by the end of September. If the legal decisions do not block the casino project, the facility is scheduled to open in 2010.