Cuomo aide: Judge denies Senecas' casino cash appeal

A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office says an appeals judge has denied a request from the Seneca Nation of Indians to reject an arbitration panel's ruling that it must pay the state a portion of revenue from its operations at three casinos in Western New York, including one in Niagara Falls. 

In a statement released Friday, Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi said the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Buffalo has denied the nation's bid to have the arbitration panel ruling overturned. 

The arbitration panel found earlier this year that the nation owes $255 million in slot machine revenue payments to the state. A portion of the state's take is distributed to local host communities, including Niagara Falls. 

"The court confirmed what we've said all along: the Seneca Nation needs to fulfill their obligations, make their neighbors and the state whole, and pay what they owe in exchange for their exclusive gaming rights," Azzopardi said in the statement from the governor's office. "It is our hope that they end this charade, stop using the courts to delay, and pay what they owe."

This is a developing story and the newspaper will provide additional information as it is made available. 

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