Low loonie looms over Akwesasne casino

AKWESASNE, N.Y. – It looks like the weak Canadian dollar may be affecting the bottom line of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.

The casino, which is an entertainment spot frequented by Cornwallites and other people in Eastern Ontario, is expected to see its revenue fall short by nearly $500,000.

St. Lawrence County officials were expecting to collect $3 million in 2015 from the tribal-state compact agreement.

The agreement splits revenue between the casino, county and the towns of Massena and Brasher.

But County Administrator Ruth A. Doyle told the Watertown Daily Times that revenue is expected to fall short by $499,000 as of the third quarter.

The county hasn’t received fourth quarter figures.

The administrator told the paper the number of Canadians visiting the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino may be feeling the pinch due to the lower loonie, which is worth just over 70 cents U.S. now.

The county is only budgeting for $2.2 million in revenue in 2016.

The rules have also changed on how the money can be spent by the county and towns – it can be used for anything as opposed to being earmarked for economic development projects.