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Council member makes impassioned plea for his colleagues to oppose expanding gaming in WNY

John Deleo made an impassioned plea to his fellow City Council members Monday night to support a resolution calling for a ban on further expansion of gambling facilities in Western New York.

But he couldn't convince Rose Mary Christian.

Christian was the lone council member voting against the resolution because she didn't see it as necessary.

"It's important we share in this opposition," Deleo said. "We need to be opposed to any more casinos because we're already at a point of over saturation, so this is very important."

According to the resolution, the Seneca Nation is planning to buy land in Henrietta in order to build a Vegas-style casino near Rochester.

Batavia Downs draws a lot of customers from Monroe County, Deleo said.

“The Seneca Nation is looking at building a casino in Henrietta,” Deleo said. “It would definitely hurt us. The barbarians are at the gate.”

Batavia Downs generates income for local governments in 11 WNY counties, including $3.5 million for Genesee County, on gross annual revenue of $215 million. It employs 460 people in Batavia with an annual payroll of $5 million.

Members of the New York Legislature and the governor's office will receive copies of the resolution passed on a 8-1 vote by the council.

Thomas Schneider
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Why is it that monopolies are only bad in the private sector?

terry paine
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Only the free market can determine the correct number of gaming businesses in WNY. If the market gets saturated the ones that provide the worst customer experience will be gone. The role of city council in Batavia should not be to control the spending habits of people from Monroe county or any other county.

John Roach
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The problem is that the State does not allow a free market. So while you are right, that does not address the immediate problem at hand. Allowing a casino in Monroe County, while not allowing Batavia to compete fully, will cost Batavia and Genesee money in the form of VLT money. That money in Batavia is mostly used for the contingency fund. If we lose it, or it is reduced, the money will be made up in higher property taxes.

Richard Richmond II
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A point well taken John, as you said in part, “the money will be made up in higher property taxes”. Those who pay no property taxes can be cavalier and indifferent for the fact they do not have to make up the difference.

terry paine
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So the opinion is, limit the freedoms of people in surrounding counties in order to subsidise the needs and wants of another county.

Dave Olsen
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I can't speak for terry, but I'm pretty sure he pays and has paid plenty of taxes. Believing that taxes will stay low because of a government monopoly and protecting our little corner is a total fallacy. The only way to lower everyone's taxes is to get the government out of every thing inappropriate, such as gambling.

John Roach
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Dave,
Sure you're right. But right now we have to deal with what is reality. The State has its nose into this.

The Downs and the VLT money we get do not keep taxes down as you well know. But they do keep them lower than they would be.

Terry,
If the State would get out of the casino regulation business, then you have a good point. But right now, Batavia is not allowed to compete and that's the point. If we could offer what a casino in Monroe County might offer, then fine, best casino wins. But we are not allowed to. We are not even allowed to call Batavia a "casino" anymore. On the other hand, if you don't care that we might not get the VLT money, and are willing to make that money up in some other manner, then fine.

Marc Staley
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The agreement to split the profits among the 11 counties in WNY is already a BAD DEAL for us! The split is by population.......which mean Erie and Monroe county are already the major benefactors of Genesee County's Racino. WE get back a lousy 4%, when I would bet (assumption on my part) that 1/3 of the revenues that place generates come from Genesee County residents! Maybe more. This is hardly a free market. It's crony capitalism at best and corporate socialism at worst.

If Monroe county wants to allow this new casino to open, at a minimum, it should put their % back in the pot for the other cooperative counties to divvy up. You can't have your casino and eat our cake too!

Side note......let's just legalize gaming already and tax it. It's a usage tax which I'm heavily in favor of. Let's stop taxing behavior which is productive (working, improving your home, etc.) and start taxing lifestyle behaviors of CHOICE and CHANCE!

That's just my 2 cents on Red!

Mark Potwora
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I too have a issue with this vote to protest against another county to offer gambling.Why didn't city council issue a resolution to let the Seneca's open a casino here..All the property Batavia Downs sits on is not taxed because it is own by the state.I have more of a problem of New York State owning a race track and a casino..Government should have no role in running any of these enterprizes..It should be private.........On a side note since Mr.Deleo works for the casino he should not of been voting on this,let alone offering this resolution in the first place......
Got to agree with Marc on his statement,This is hardly a free market. It's crony capitalism at best and corporate socialism at worst...

Many who live in Monroe county go to Finger Lakes casino, should council also pass a resolution to close that one ..Many go to the Seneca casino in Niagara Falls for all that is has to offer over what Batavia does,If it was up to city council would they want to see that one closed...

Let people have a choice where they spend their gambling dollars...

Mark Potwora
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Why doesn't city council pass a resolution to sell Batavia Downs to the Senaca Indians.
They have generated millions of dollars for the city of Niagara Falls..
.

Mark Brudz
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Basically because Batavia Downs is owned by the State, NOT the city, otherwise a good idea.

Jason Crater
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"The barbarians are at the gate"

Yikes.

Mark Potwora
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Mark that is my point....Pass a resolution to petition the state to sell to the Seneca's instead of what they did with this resolution...

John Roach
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Not a bad idea, but you would have to get all of the WOTB to do it.

Mark Brudz
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Mark, while a a sensible position, no resolution is going to make a difference, the State sees to much revenue to grab

John Roach
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And I am not sure the rest of WOTB would want to sell. Not sure the Seneca's would want it either.

Kyle Couchman
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Are we really discussing NYS and sensible actions in the same paragraph?

Damn soda went thru my nose again, thanks.

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