STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Griffo sends letter to Cuomo following reports del Lago casino faces revenue struggles, seeks bailout

Following reports that the del Lago Casino & Resort in Seneca County is struggling with revenue and is seeking a bailout from the state, Sen. Joseph Griffo, a member of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, Sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Division of Budget Director Robert Mujica.

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 10:58 PM

Following reports that the del Lago Casino & Resort in Seneca County is struggling with revenue and is seeking a bailout from the state, Sen. Joseph Griffo, a member of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, Sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Division of Budget Director Robert Mujica.

In the letter, Griffo said he doesn't believe a bailout is appropriate use of taxpayer money.

Rochester NBC affiliate WHEC is reporting that the del Lago Resort & Casino said in a statement that the Seneca Nation has had an unfair advantage ever since they stopped making payments to state and local governments.

The article reports that casino spokesman Steven Greenberg said that even since the Seneca Nation stopped making payments to New York State and local governments, it has been using more than $50 million to create additional promotions and incentives to lure customers from del Lago.

According to Greenberg, this has greatly changed the circumstances compared to when del Lago first sought and won its casino license, and they are simply looking for a "fair, competitive marketplace."

Senator Griffo said he had concerns with the rapid pace of gaming facilities throughout the state and had urged the state Gaming Commission to reconsider some of the decisions. He said there are more pressing needs in areas such as health care, education and infrastructure. He said the state should not devote public revenues to a private casino corporation.


Sen. Griffo’s full letter is below:

March 27, 2018

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
State of New York
Albany, NY

Dear Gov. Cuomo,

The purpose of this letter is to outline concerns that I have following reports that the del Lago Casino & Resort in Seneca County is struggling with revenue and is seeking a bailout from New York State.

From the very beginning, I have had concerns with the site selection process and the rapid pace and the proliferation of gaming facilities throughout the state and previously urged the New York State Gaming Commission to reconsider some of the decisions made by the Gaming Facility Location Board that I believed would be economically detrimental to Upstate New York.

The news that del Lago is struggling with revenue is disappointing, concerning and unsettling. When gaming expansion began, New Yorkers were told by the Governor that the new casinos would support tourism, bring more jobs and more revenue to support schools and lower taxes. It now appears that that is not the case and this is another illustration of bad planning, bad siting and bad decision making.

Del Lago is not generating as much revenue as promised and the casino is seeking a bailout with taxpayer money after not meeting its revenue projection in the casino’s first year. Del Lago has been a recipient of a number of local tax breaks and economic incentives. It is paying approximately $43 million in “gaming taxes” annually, already far below the original projections of the payments they were going to make to State Education Aid and their surrounding localities. Now, del Lago wants a tax break somewhere around $14 million, which is almost a full one-third of the already lower-than-expected amount they are currently paying in taxes to the state and localities.
I do not believe that bailing out this casino with people’s hard-earned tax dollars is the appropriate way to go about addressing this issue, especially given the fact that there are other gaming facilities with video lottery terminals who continue to struggle as a result of casino decisions and have not received the same level of support now being requested.
Our state has more pressing needs in areas such as health care, education and infrastructure. It would be inappropriate to devote public revenues to a private casino corporation when the people of New York were promised after the casino referendum that these casinos would be generating revenue for their local economies and would become economic engines themselves.

I look forward to a response from you.

Sincerely,

Joseph A. Griffo
State Senate, 47th District

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 422003

Reported Deaths: 32787
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22834323592
Suffolk438931998
Nassau437242195
Westchester362721447
Rockland13954674
Orange11180491
Erie8987671
Monroe5002285
Dutchess4619153
Onondaga3602200
Albany2614128
Oneida2175115
Ulster207692
Niagara151298
Sullivan149048
Putnam144963
Broome114369
Schenectady107537
Rensselaer77030
Saratoga76717
Columbia54637
Madison41317
Ontario36234
Warren31233
Steuben30042
Orleans29854
Fulton29724
Greene29418
Genesee2795
Herkimer2774
St. Lawrence2634
Washington26014
Chautauqua2589
Oswego2553
Wayne2523
Tompkins2340
Chenango2186
Tioga19425
Montgomery1774
Chemung1763
Livingston1768
Cattaraugus1686
Cayuga1572
Jefferson1420
Clinton1294
Otsego1185
Wyoming1185
Delaware1064
Cortland950
Seneca913
Allegany801
Schoharie690
Yates577
Essex560
Franklin540
Lewis450
Schuyler220
Hamilton80
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
Oneonta
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 79°
Herkimer
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 81°
Thendara
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 81°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left