Letter: State dropped the ball on Seneca gaming pact - The Buffalo News

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Letter: State dropped the ball on Seneca gaming pact

State dropped the ball on Seneca gaming pact

How can The News editorial board leave out the specific language and facts of the Seneca gaming compact when discussing this issue? It clearly says the state share of slot revenues will be “Years 1-4: 18 percent. Years 5-7: 22 percent. Years 8-14: 25 percent.” It says nothing about anything after the 14th year, so the politicians and negotiators representing New York State clearly dropped the ball and should be held accountable. Who wrote and signed off on this language? Why is there no language discussing what happens in year 15 and after? That is a $110 million annual mistake.

This compact is just another glaring example of the inept politicians who dominate New York State government. If casinos were going to be allowed to operate in New York, the state law should have been changed and those venues operated by a state entity where 100 percent of the revenues benefit local municipalities. Making an end-run around state law by partnering with an Indian tribe was nothing but an Albany money grab that has set Western New York back. Now, 15 years later, we don’t even get the 25 percent of the slot revenues that helped offset all of the negatives from having Indian casinos operate locally.

What options does Western New York have to end this compact and replace these Indian casinos with ones that benefit the region and its taxpayers? Can this be addressed in a state constitutional convention? The negotiators who failed Western New York in this compact should be named and removed from office or from working for the state. You don’t get to make these kinds of mistakes and keep feeding at the public trough!

Aaron Walker

Amherst

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