Mohawk Casino Vs. NY

An Indian tribal council has stopped sharing revenues with the state of New York alleging compact violations.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is reportedly expected to pull in $12 million in revenues this year from its Akwesasne Casino in northern New York, but the state won’t be seeing a dime if the tribe has its way.

According to the Mohawks, a 2004 compact with the state approved 1,600 slot machines at Akwesasne Casino but also obligated the state to grant the tribe exclusive rights to slots in a handful of counties.

“While the state has yet to comprehensively review the reasoning behind the suggestion that we have violated the gaming compact, one thing is very clear: The St. Regis Mohawks failure to pay the state is an egregious material breach of the gaming compact,” a spokesman for Gov. David Paterson said.

“The state will now seek all remedies available under the compact including expedited arbitration in order to protect the state and local municipalities from losing this critical funding.”

The tribe has said the revenue withholding isn’t tied to the Paterson administration’s attempts to tax cigarette sales to non-Indians, although the Mohawk, Seneca and Oneida tribes all reportedly have pending federal sovereignty lawsuits against the state regarding the matter.