Nearby Niagara Fall faces a financial crisis.

News 100 redBy Neil Sullivan

October 10th, 2017



When we think of Niagara, we imagine an area that thrives almost by default. Aside from Toronto, it’s probably the biggest attraction in close proximity to Burlington, and it’s known the world over as a sort of natural wonder. This fall, however, there have been some troubling reports indicating that the area is experiencing some potentially serious financial woes.


The water isn’t as clean as many people think it is.

For the most part, these woes appear to be due to a dispute between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians. For some time now these two entities have essentially had an agreement in place to share revenue from the casinos in and around Niagara, which actually account for a great deal of Niagara’s budget. However, the dispute has resulted in disruption of incoming casino revenue for the city. Because of a hitch in the extension of the revenue sharing agreement, the Seneca have declared that they owe the State of New York no further payments – which, if they stick to it, will be a fairly devastating position.

New York is also in a fairly poor position to exert any sort of pressure on the casinos themselves. For one thing, the Seneca Nation is its own entity and appears to have every right to operate the venues independently. Additionally, however, if casinos did close or receive pressure, New York would risk losing gamers over the border. As we know, Canada has its own legal casino venues not too far from the area. And online casinos have become more popular as well, with iGaming sites and software providers partnering to create the most cutting edge games for those who would rather play online. In short, there are alternatives to the Seneca casinos just on the Canadian side of the Falls.

These are the core issues giving Niagara trouble, though it should be mentioned that tourism, too, could be in a precarious position. Naturally the Falls are the main draw to the area, and will always attract tourists regardless of what’s going on with the casinos. However, if there’s anything that can make the Falls less appealing as a destination, it’s probably the overflowing wastewater that’s been plaguing them of late. Just recently reports surfaced of a 15 million gallon discharge of “untreated sewage and stormwater” flowing out at the base of the American Falls, and it wasn’t the first time this season that something like this has happened. Naturally the Falls have a way of cleaning themselves up, at least to the naked eye – but think about how much 15 million gallons really is. The mere thought of that much sewage would give any traveller pause regarding whether or not to visit the area.

Fortunately, these issues shouldn’t have big enough economic consequences to directly affect Burlington, and they may even be limited largely to the U.S. side of the Falls. But it’s still a fairly significant issue for the greater area if these problems cause a significant crisis for Niagara.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to Nearby Niagara Fall faces a financial crisis.

  • steve

    @ Alide

    I agree, the article is about the American side which has always been the, Tijuana, to our San Diego. If gambling on the American side disappears, that can only mean more traffic for the Canadian side. Canada’s Niagara Falls is the 5th most popular tourist spot… in the world….and the latest spillage of sewage while very disappointing isn’t a common occurrence, and while 15 million gallons is a lot, for sure, we must also remember 6.5 billion gallons of water falls everyday. Perhaps larger fines for mistakes will help. If Canada’s Niagara Falls is in trouble, being the 5th largest tourist destination in the world, then there would be something wrong with local governance.