Tag Archives: cigarettes

Senecas + Albany = Drama

31 Aug

The state and the Senecas are arguing and sniping over taxing cigarettes and casino revenues.

Under the 2001 agreement with the state allowing the Senecas to operate class III casinos, a cut of the take from slot machines is to be paid to the state. If the state were to legalize gambling and allow non-Indians to operate class III gaming facilities, thus eliminating the Senecas’ exclusivity, the payment of a cut of the slot proceeds would stop. Last year, the Senecas paid $32 million to the state. A lot of money, but a drop in the bucket compared to the revenues the state could collect on a private casino on private property located within the state of New York.

In the wake of state’s efforts to tax the sale of cigarettes to non-Indians, the Senecas are claiming that the state has violated its slots-exclusivity deal and they will be withholding further payments. Part of those payments are supposed to go to the host communities, as well.

Casino gaming is not permitted under the New York State constitution, but video slots and other games have been networked to make them nominally “competitive”, and they are now installed in racinos throughout the state, including Batavia and Hamburg. It’s time that casino gaming was legalized throughout the state so that casinos not on Indian Reservations pay property, sales, income, and other taxes to the state. The carving out of sovereign Seneca exclaves in Buffalo and Niagara Falls have done nothing to directly benefit either city, or their immediate surroundings. Paying no state tax and not subject to most New York laws, these places poach bar and restaurant business from surrounding neighborhoods.

The state’s dalliances with gaming has proved a few things: 1. it’s lucrative; 2. the state is unfairly limiting itself and its take from the casinos by refusing to just acknowledge that people like casinos and legalizing the damn things.

Vice-Based Economy

19 Mar

News Flash!!!1!!!

9 Mar

Is the point of this article to explain that Seneca cigarettes are less healthy than regular cigarettes? That they’re super-cheap and super-bad for you?

I think if you’re buying a carton of smokes for $13, you’re aware that you’re not buying the finest tobacco product available on the market.

Just sayin’.