April 4, 2022
Buffalo, NY- New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced a resolution to a multiyear contract dispute that resulted in more than $500 million in Tribal Compact gaming revenues owed to the State and local municipalities. In accordance with the resolution, the Seneca Nation of Indians have released the funds held in escrow and will begin negotiations on a new gaming revenue compact with the State. As host city for one of the Seneca Nation of Indian casinos, Buffalo is one of several municipalities in Western New York that will benefit from the release of these funds.
Buffalo is projected to receive up to $38.5 million in revenues based on the terms of the Tribal Compact Gaming agreement. This will boost the City’s cash account balance and provide some financial flexibility. However, City Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams cautioned, “these funds need to be reserved to cover potential budget shortfalls in out-year projections. That would go a long way in protecting the city’s financial status after American Rescue Plan Fund (ARPA) funding runs out.” The Comptroller’s office maintains that this funding should be set aside to fully fund the City of Buffalo Assigned and Unassigned Fund balances. Reserving these funds will strengthening Buffalo’s fiscal stability and credit rating for years to come.
The City Comptroller anticipates that all three branches of city government will continue to discuss the use of the excess funds relating to the settlement over the next several weeks.