ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday again struck a defiant tone over the Seneca Nation’s refusal to pay more than $400 million in casino revenue sharing payments to the state.
Though the issue is now before a three-member arbitration panel, Cuomo said the dispute will get resolved “when (the Senecas) want to resolve it, or when a court determines when it gets resolved.’’
The Senecas say the state has broken the terms of a decade-old compact giving the tribe certain gambling exclusivity rights in a large area of Western New York; for the past several years the tribe has ceased paying an agreed-to 25 percent share of slot machine revenues to the state. The state, in turn, shares a portion of the money with local host communities; Niagara Falls and Salamanca have been especially hard-hit by the halt in Seneca casino payments, a fight that began during the previous Paterson administration.
“The Senecas have owed the state hundreds of millions of dollars for a very long time . . . I’m not going to go away until justice is done for the people of this state –- one way or another,’’ Cuomo told reporters during a stop in Syracuse.