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A tale of two states: How tribal gaming affects Florida and New York

TAGs: florida, New York, tribal gaming

Tribal casinos are great partners in nation-building – but only if states have harmonious relationships with the operators.

A tale of two states: How tribal gaming affects Florida and New YorkCase in point are the contrasting events in Florida and New York, where one state is benefiting from the revenues from tribal casinos while the other not so much.

The Miami Herald reported that Florida is reaping the rewards of striking a new gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe.

With the new law, economists pointed out that Florida is looking at 4.5 percent growth in its main budget during the fiscal year that ends next June. That could grow even further to 4.1 percent in fiscal year 2018-19.

As early as today, state officials are hearing the “ka-ching” of the cash register as they predict how much the state will collect in taxes.

The new gambling law is providing an extra $500 million to the state over the next two years, thanks to the amicable agreement between Gov. Rick Scott and the tribe that owns several casinos.

In New York, local counties are feeling the brunt of the dispute between Seneca Nation and the state.

News website WHEC News 10 reported that the money trickling down to counties in western New York has stopped as the Seneca Nation and New York’s state government continue to fight about how long the tribe needs to be sharing casino profits.

Part of the profit of the Seneca Niagara Casino on a slot machine goes to New York State. The state then allocates portions of that revenue to counties in western New York.

Without the money from the Seneca Nation, officials of Monroe County are now scratching their heads how to fill a $4 million void. Genesee County and Orleans County get $300,000 and $283,000 shares a year, respectively.

“But fortunately we budget conservatively and there’s ways for us to account for that loss both in 2017 and 2018,” Robert Franklin, Monroe Co. budget director, told the media firm. “Well there’s no one be all and end all answer. Tell you what we’re not going to do: Not raise a tax rate.”

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