Casino Battle Rages On Over Slot Machine Revenue Fees

October 12, 2010 Updated Oct 13, 2010 at 7:57 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 12, 2010 Updated Oct 13, 2010 at 7:57 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) Last week, New York State and the Seneca Nation began their battle over casino fees. Both sides claimed that the other broke their gaming compact, and neither seemed willing to budge.

On Friday, the Senecas proposed that they would pay local communities the money, instead of paying the state. But Tuesday, Governor Paterson rejected that offer.

"I understand they made a promise to pay the local communities instead of the state, and that's unacceptable to us. That's not how New York State government works."

Eyewitness News made multiple attempts to contact the Seneca Nation for comment, all of which were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile the City of Niagara Falls, home to one of the biggest Seneca Nation casinos, is still waiting on casino revenue they would normally receive. Funds that are being held up in this disagreement

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said the casino revenue does not pay for vital services like police or fire, and does not pay salaries, but it is a large figure in the City's budget.

"The city budgeted 17 million dollars in casino revenue and that's a conservative estimate," he said, "without long term casino revenue, it would affect our paving program and it would effect our ability to hold events like concerts in the downtown area."

The gaming compact in question does allow for meetings between the Seneca Nation and New York State, and possible arbitration. No meeting dates have been set at this time.