Some Seneca casino money could flow to Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 June 2013 at 12:00 am

The three casinos in Western New York owned by the Seneca Nation of Indians will see a portion of their profits directed to counties in the region, according to the “Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act,” which was announced by Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday.

The legislation doesn’t specify dollars for the counties in the region, but Orleans County is expected to get a tiny slice of a big pie. The state will share 10 percent of the gaming revenue it receives from casinos and video gaming centers “to provide tax relief or educational assistance,” according to the legislation announced on Wednesday.

The bulk of the state’s casino and video gaming revenue, 80 percent, will be used for school aid or property tax relief. “The educational aid will be additive and will not be part of the state’s existing education formula,” the legislation reads.

The Senecas keep 75 percent of the casino profits with 25 percent directed to the state, which currently then gives some to host cities in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca.

The legislation announced on Wednesday would direct some of the state’s share of the casino profits to counties in the region while preserving the funds to the host communities.

The revenue sharing is part of a plan to develop four Las Vegas-style casinos in Upstate New York, all outside of WNY.