Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.


Laurie A. Buonanno, Ph.D.

Department Home page

First Reader

Laurie A. Buonanno, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Frank V. Ciaccia, MPA

Third Reader

James A. Gold, Ph.D.


This qualitative case study examines the intersection of a Native-owned casino, revenue-sharing with its host community, and the impact of tourism marketing efforts vis-à-vis funds provided to the community’s tourism agency. Specifically, this report studies downtown Niagara Falls USA from the time period between 2006 and 2016, and seeks to determine whether and how funds from Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino boosted tourism marketing efforts by Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation (NTCC). Background research and a series of elite interviews with city officials and tourism agency leaders uncovered overall positivity in terms of growth in Niagara Falls USA’s tourism efforts and results. Interviewees also tended to describe the amount of 7 percent of the City’s revenue-sharing funds going to NTCC as fairly generous. Despite these shared views, City officials past and present lamented missed opportunities to better manage its overall casino revenue-sharing funds from New York State, as improvements in other sectors of Niagara Falls may have influenced greater tourism marketing effectiveness. City officials also believed their share from New York State (25 percent) to be inadequate for further economic development. The results of this case study show that a set level of tourism funding from casino revenue-sharing can have a positive effect on destination marketing efforts. Future casino resorts in metropolitan areas and near natural-wonder attractions can leverage the constructs of Niagara Falls USA’s revenue-sharing to determine revenue-sharing models of their own. Nevertheless, host community tourism agencies should be mindful not to depend on these resources being consistently available, particularly because of withholdings due to disputes between Native nations and state governments.