Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an agreement between New York State and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to resolve a three-year dispute over gaming issues.
Under the agreement, the State will remove the eight-county Saint Regis Mohawk exclusivity zone from the proposed casino-siting legislation, and the Tribe will pay $30 million of payments owed and 25% of future gaming revenues to the State. The agreement also initiates discussions between the State, the Tribe, and local governments to resolve unrelated land claim disputes.
"By working together and finding common ground, the State and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe have reached a fair and reasonable agreement that will grant the Tribe exclusive gaming rights in the North Country, and provide the state and local governments with their share of revenues from the casino," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend the collaborative spirit in which all parties came together to forge this agreement."
"We've waited many years for a Governor who was willing to sit down with all the parties to the land claim to come to a negotiated settlement. Governor Cuomo has accomplished much in the short time we've been meeting directly with him. He has given us assurances that our outstanding issues will be dealt with fairly," said Chief Ron LaFrance, Jr. of Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.
The agreement was signed today by the Governor, and representatives of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and local government officials.
-The Tribe will make an immediate payment of approximately $30 million from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino New York State to resolve past revenue sharing payments. Of the $30 million payment, 25% will be divided between St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, providing $3.75 million to each county which includes the payments to the affected towns in each county.
-The Tribe will resume making on-going revenue sharing payments according to the regular schedule as defined in the compact amounting to 25% of net gaming revenue. The state will divide 25% of its share between St. Lawrence and Franklin counties.
-Under the agreement, the State will exclude from casino gaming siting legislation the eight county Mohawk exclusion zone in the North Country (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and Warren counties).
Resolving Land Claim and New York Power Authority Disputes:
The Governor will convene discussions among the State, the Tribe, and St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties to resolve unrelated disputes involving land claims and New York Power Authority issues. The remaining revenue share will be held in escrow pending resolution of these outstanding issues.