ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday afternoon that there is a decision in the ongoing trial with the Seneca Nation of Indians.
The decision is regarding a dispute over revenue from Seneca-owned casinos in Western New York.
After several appeals and court hearings, Cuomo says it is time for the Senecas to pay the state what they owe.
"We have a decision in the ongoing trial with the Seneca Nation. The Seneca Nation, for those who don't remember, 2013 New York reached a landmark agreement with the Seneca Nation recognizing exclusivity of the Seneca Casinos in Western New York. The agreement was based on trust and respect, and it was one that I was proud to make. This morning the U.S. second circuit court of appeals again affirmed the need for the Seneca Nation to fulfill their obligations and pay what they owe in exchange for those gaming rights. The court's decision was clear, and after years of delay, multiple appeals, and multiple court losses it is high time the Seneca Nation follows the law and pays what they owe, and it is significant funding, especially for the communities involved, as well as the State," said Cuomo during the press conference.
Cuomo says the Senecas owe $435 million to the state. Of that $435 million $115 million will go to local governments, including Buffalo, Salamanca and Niagara Falls.
Budget Director Robert Mujica said, "It's about $435 million dollars that is owed to-date and is almost over $100 million of that is for local governments. The biggest counties in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Salamanca, Monroe and Erie County, but there are over a dozen local governments, county governments, and cities that get direct payments so it's $435 overall and $150 million directly to local governments, and the rest of the money goes to, mostly, education.:
The Seneca Nation of Indians released the following statement Monday evening:
“The Seneca Nation is reviewing today’s decision and discussing all of our options at this time.”
You can read the ruling here: