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Editorial: Long odds in fight against new Seneca Nation casino

Filed Under: New York | Opinion
More on: off-reservation, seneca
Newspaper doesn't think state of New York can say no to another Seneca Nation off-reservation casino:
Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation is rightly opposed to the idea of a new casino in Henrietta. Whether its objections will be listened to is the big question. The state seems to think gambling is a good way to raise money without raising taxes. It did an excellent job of selling racino expansion to the voting public last November, and the Seneca Nation is saying the deal it reached with Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year would allow for more Indian casinos in the Senecas’ exclusivity zone. Henrietta, where the Senecas have purchased 32 acres, is in that exclusivity zone.

The 2002 compact between the state and the Seneca Nation allows the tribe to operate only three casinos in the region. Three are operating: in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca. Opponents don’t want to see the Memorandum of Understanding, renewed just this last year, amended to allow a fourth Seneca casino. That memorandum also prohibits any more racinos west of Route 14, which runs between Elmira and Sodus Point.

The state and host communities get a share of the slot machine revenues from both Seneca casinos and the state racinos. The state thus might be open to amending the pact with the Seneca Nation to create gambling revenue where further racinos are prohibited. Racino officials don’t want added competition from the Seneca Nation, however. A casino in Henrietta is apt to draw gamblers from Batavia Downs Gaming and Finger Lakes Gaming, just east of Rochester.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Facing long odds (The Batavia Daily News 3/8)

Also Today:
Q&A: The proposed casino in Henrietta (The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 3/8)
Tribes seek to hold ground ahead of new casinos (AP 3/9)

Related Stories:
Seneca Nation acquires land for potential off-reservation casino (3/4)

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