Niagara Gazette

April 20, 2014

GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category

By Don Glynn
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — One of the Niagara area’s biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

For the record, as part of the revenue sharing agreement with the state, the Seneca Nation and Gaming Corp. has paid New York more than $1.1 billion in the last 12 years. Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder reviewed the totals in a recent report to the nation.

Snyder said that since it opened in 2002, the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel has generated $738.5 million in the state exclusivity revenue. Of that total, $184.6 million has been paid to the City of Niagara Falls and related entities including some $18 million in the current quarterly payment.

Snyder added: “The figures clearly show that our Las Vegas-style casino operations had a clear and unmistakable positive impact on the local economy.” At present, the Senecas employ more than 4,000 people at its facilities in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca. 

Snyder exlained the payment to the state covers the quarter from October to December 2013 for combined slot machine revenue from the three casino properties.

Under the compact, the “host community” receives 25 percent of the state’s share. Since the opening in 2004, the Allegany Casino and Hotel has generated $282 million in state exclusivity revenue with $70.6 million of that paid to the City of Salamanca and Cattaraugus County. Meanwhile, the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino that opened in 2007 has generated $87.1 million in revenue for the state. Of that total, the City of Buffalo was paid $21.8 million.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Country music superstar Trace Adkins will be on stage June 13 at the Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls. It’s a show that was rescheduled from March 22.

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STEPPING DOWN: Tom Yots, a retired educator and former city historian for Niagara Falls, plans to leave his post as executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. He was named to the position in 2012.

Yots said he intends to continue serving on the seven-member regional state parks commission. He also will remain active in preservation efforts throughout the Buffalo Niagara community. He and his wife, Louise, now Buffalo residents, operated a bed-and-breakfast on Park Place in Niagara Falls for many years.

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NEW BUSINESS: The Porter House, formerly a popular tavern with adjacent volleyball courts at Blairville Road and East Avenue, Town of Porter, is expected to re-open soon. A retired Niagara Falls police officer is reportedly a partner in the project. There’s also talk that of renewed interest in a volleyball league.

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HEADLINE OF THE WEEK: “He’s Captain Courage-Less” —in the New York Post, a reference to South Korean ferry Capt. Lee Joon-seok, 68, who allegedly jumped ship Wednesday in an area off the Port of Incheon, leaving hundreds of high school students on a class trip to die in the disaster. 

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PRIME EXAMPLE: Sign on a repair shop door: “We Can Repair Anything. (Please knock hard on the door since the Bell Don’t Work).

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TRIVIA QUIZ: (Answer to last week’s question): “Canadian Bacon,” starring John Candy, premiered at the Niagara Falls Convention & Civic Center (now the Seneca Niagara Casino) in 1995. A major portion of the filming was in the Niagara Falls area.

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TIMELY THOUGHT: A friend sends this reminder from The Christophers’ movement, founded by the Rev. James Keller. The writer notes how many lives have been lost in global tragedies during the past 60 days or so: 239 on Malaysia Flight 370; 258 on that ferry off South Korea; at least 30 persons in the mudslide north of Seattle; and 12 in the Mount Everest slide. 

Despite the heavy toll, he quotes the Christophers’  belief based on an ancient Chinese motto: “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.