The sudden speak of building a second casino in Niagara Falls has developed a buzz about the city, but a crucial point is being overlooked: What’s in it for the Falls?
In truth, the question is probably premature, since no one knows if Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is severe about developing a non-Indian casino within the city, even though there is purpose to believe it is greater than just talk.
Cuomo dropped this bombshell final weekend, along with the consensus seems to become that it can be leverage inside the state’s dispute together with the Seneca Nation of Indians, which has stopped generating payments to the state from its casinos in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca. The Senecas contend, not preposterously, that the state has violated the zone of exclusivity granted inside the casino compact by permitting gambling at race tracks in Hamburg, Batavia and Farmington.
As a consequence, the Senecas have withheld payments as a consequence of the state and for the cities exactly where the casinos are operating. Niagara Falls has lost $60 million to that dispute, in which it plays no part but victim.
Enter Cuomo with a plan to shake up the dynamic. By proposing a competing casino, as outlined by one theory, he pressures the Senecas to settle the matter, which is now in arbitration.
When the Senecas don’t settle or if the state loses the arbitration, it has an alternative to recoup at least a number of the money it truly is now forgoing, and maybe extra, from a brand new casino.
But what of Niagara Falls? Whilst the proposal is only inside a gestational stage, it’s worth producing confident that Cuomo and also other state officials realize that, if this plan goes forward, Niagara Falls desires a greater share of proceeds than it was to obtain under the arrangement with all the Senecas. The city bears the fees of police and fire protection, street maintenance and much more. This deal demands to pay.
There is some reason to be doubtful with the viability of this strategy. Across the river in Niagara Falls, Ont., gambling revenues are waning. A Canadian report final year recommended lowering or relocating casinos in shrinking markets, for instance Niagara Falls. And over the previous decade, earnings from Canadian gambling facilities close to the U.S. border have dropped from $800 million to $100 million. That’s hardly an enticement to build.
The state’s move toward extra casino gambling is a recognition in the reality that people are going to gamble and that if New York doesn’t deliver an outlet gamblers will patronize the several casinos nearby. It may be inevitable, however it can be a clear sign that the state can not see any other way to meet its expenses but to draw New Yorkers and visitors into gambling halls. A casino created at the least some sense in Niagara Falls given that it’s a tourist city and its sister across the river currently had them.
All in all, an additional casino may very well be a net achieve for Niagara Falls, so long as the city gets its fair share from the revenues. However it will be far better for the state and the Senecas just to settle their differences.