Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 13, 2013

Fitch Ratings says Niagara Falls finances are stable, removes 'negative watch'


Niagara Gazette — In its ratings release, Fitch notes that the existing gaming compact between the state and the Senecas expires in 2016, with a provision for renewal through 2023. Fitch expresses some concern about the “volatile” nature of the casino revenue stream moving forward.

Dyster said he believes those concerns will ultimately prove unfounded as it appears both the state and the Senecas are on the same page when it comes to revenue distribution for at least the next decade. He said discussions he’s had with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office and representatives from the Seneca Nation of Indians suggest that as long as both sides are in compliance with the terms of the compact when 2016 arrives they will likely agree to continue operating under the terms of the existing compact through 2023.

Fitch said it will continue to monitor the performance of the city’s ongoing operations and efforts to develop the local economy in the months and years ahead.

Dyster acknowledged the long-awaited casino revenue payment is not a cure for all that ails the city’s finances, but said it does allow the city to regain its financial footing for now.

“We have a ways to go yet,” Dyster said. “The challenge for us is to show that we are continuing to use our casino revenues wisely and I think we have done that in the past.”

Big red number 2016 Year casino compact runs out. Fitch Ratings upped city's outlook due to casino cash payment.

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