Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, and State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-60th District, have introduced legislation to return a greater portion of the revenues collected by the state from tribal casinos to local municipalities. Their legislation, which amends the Tribal State Compact, would allow municipalities to collect up to 50 percent of the net earnings from electronic gaming devices. Under current law, municipalities may only collect up to 25 percent of the net drop from these machines, while the remaining 75 percent goes to the state.
"Local municipalities continue to bear the brunt of the cost of maintaining the infrastructure, which casinos rely on. It is only fair that localities receive more funding from the casinos in order to pay for these services and upgrades while reducing the strain on local taxpayers," Ceretto said. "This additional funding would also help localities bolster the region's tourism industry and help promote economic growth."
"This important legislation will double the amount of revenue being received by the City of Niagara Falls," Grisanti said. "This means more money for the important economic development engines that are key to revitalizing this city. The Niagara Falls Casino money represents an important resource to move along projects that will serve as linchpins of our area's continued growth."
Ceretto and Grisanti said the legislation would put an end to the state's practice of collecting the lion's share of casino revenue, shortchanging local municipalities, and would ensure that the increase in local revenue is used for regional improvements instead of being sent to pad Albany's coffers.
"This funding would go a long way toward finally bringing Niagara Falls its fair share. Our area needs good-paying permanent jobs and we should enjoy a greater portion of the revenues generated in our city," said Ceretto. "The passage of this legislation would be a win-win for the region and I look forward to working with Senator Grisanti and other local and state officials to get this bill passed."