While the Canadian side of Niagara Falls fights the City of Toronto over a potential new casino, things are also going sour on the other side of the border. On the American side of Niagara Falls, the city is currently entangled in a battle with the Senecas over a significant amount of money.
Seneca casino revenue that is owed to Niagara Falls has been held in escrow for the past three years. Casino operators claim that the municipality breached their contract by allowing for the construction of the Hamburg Casino, creating direct competition with Seneca’s casinos.
Nearly $60 million is being kept from Niagara Falls. Since casino revenue benefits a wide range of social programs, education and health services are beginning to suffer from the lack of funding. Should Seneca continue to hold its casino funds, local programs will continue to have a hard time.
“We’re a depressed area and we have to try to improve our necessities, but without the money, it’s hard," says Glen Choolokian, a local council member.
Niagara Falls has created a committee which will help to open up the casino cash flow once again. The three individuals enlisted will put pressure on the state to urge Seneca to provide Niagara Falls with the money that it is owed.