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Seneca's plan for tax free Casino in Rochester area opposed by Wyoming, Orleans Counties

Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel Allegany
The Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie, PA
Batavia Downs Casino in Batavia, NY
Seneca BuffaloCreek Casino
Seneca Niagara Casino
Casino in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Proposed Wilmot Casino and Resort in Tyre, NY

With Casinos proposed in Tyre and Henrietta, Niagara Falls, Buffalo casinos may see revenues cut dramatically.

Last week, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution which opposes a plan by the Seneca Nation of Indians to build a tax-free, Las Vegas-style gambling facility in Monroe County.

The Seneca Nation previously announced they hired Rochester-area developer and lobbyist David Flaum to organize, coordinate, and lobby for gaming and hospitality development in Monroe County.

The site for the new tax free Seneca casino is hoped to be in the Town of Henrietta, a southern suburb of Rochester, 70 miles from Buffalo and conveniently located off route 90.

The tribe wants to build a new $150 million, 65,000 square feet casino, plus tax free food and beverage offerings, including a Western Door Steakhouse.

The Wyoming County Board of Supervisors is the 2nd body to pass legislation that opposes the Seneca expansion into Monroe County. The Orleans County Legislature voted in December to oppose the new Seneca casino.

In the latest resolution, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors recognized that a tax-free, Las Vegas-style gaming facility in Monroe County would have a "negative impact on their region," will "over saturate the regional gaming marketplace," and cause "financial distress" for Batavia Downs Casino, which is 30 minutes west along the Thruway from Henrietta.

Meantime, yet another casino, not run by the Senecas is being proposed.

Rochester developer Thomas Wilmot is proposing a Las Vegas-style casino in the town of Tyre, in Seneca County, 114 miles from Buffalo and just off the Thruway in the Finger Lakes region, just a couple of miles outside the Seneca gambling exclusivity zone.

The proposed Wilmot Casino and Resort calls for a $350 million facility with 2,000 slot machines, 100 table games, a hotel and five restaurants that the developer believes will draw 9,000 bettors a day, many of whom will be from the current pool of western New York gamblers.

If all goes well for gambling addicts bent on losing their money, there will be a casino in Henrietta, Batavia, Niagara Falls, Tyre, Buffalo and Salamanca to lose their money in New York, not to mention Niagara Falls Ontario and Erie Pennsylvania.

All within a two hour radius.

The Senecas recognizing that Wilmot may draw big from their suckers list agreed to give Flaum a $3 million "development fee" if the casino opens, and a $2.5 million "success fee" if the Seneca's secure a state compact for the new casino by Oct. 1, 2014.

Since Flaum is a registered lobbyist, the success fee may be illegal.

In addition to Flaum, the Seneca's lobbyists are the firm of Hinman Straub at $15,000 monthly and Anthony Masiello at $10,000 monthly.

According to one veteran gamer, "You can shoot a cannon through the Seneca's Salamanca casino and not hit a soul," saying that the Erie PA. casino have already smacked the Seneca's hard.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Jan 21, 2014