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As Senecas appear to move forward with casino plans, Batavia Downs officials say its a breach of the compact

Press release:

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation today reacted to media reports of the Seneca Nation of Indians’ purchase of 32 acres in the Town of Henrietta as a potential site for a gaming casino.

“Today’s announcement by the Seneca Nation of a significant land purchase in Henrietta for a casino gaming facility should not come as a shock to anyone,” said Michael P. Nolan, executive vice president/COO of WROTB. “Despite the fact that the casino compact of 2002 specifically allows them to operate only three casinos in the region, the Senecas never had any intention of abiding by the terms of that agreement. This land purchase only reinforces that point. The compact also provides that they will not use any of the Seneca Settlement Act funds for another casino. The use of these funds for another casino shows another potential breach of the compact by the Senecas.”

In 2002, the Seneca Nation signed a gaming compact with the State of New York, under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which allowed the Seneca Nation to operate three “class III gaming” casino facilities. The Seneca Nation currently operates casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Salamanca. 

With the land purchase by the Seneca Nation, Nolan believes that community opposition will grow exponentially.

“There is already significant opposition to the casino from residents of Henrietta, the business community, church and civic organizations, and a multitude of town boards and county legislative bodies throughout the region,” Nolan said. “Now that the Senecas’ intentions have taken a much more serious turn with the land purchase, I fully expect opposition to grow in terms of both numbers and intensity.”

Nolan vowed to work with local communities and opposition groups to stop casino gaming in Henrietta.

“This region is oversaturated with casino gaming, and another facility will cause irreparable harm to thousands of businesses, families, and municipalities throughout the region,” Nolan said.

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 31 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

tom hunt
macaroo's picture
Joined: Jan 31 2009

Get those gaming tables ready for operations at Batavia Downs!!

DICKIE's picture
Joined: May 22 2009

Imagine that......the Indians breaking an agreement (treaty) with the white man..............Karma ??????

freddieg's picture
Joined: May 29 2008

Our illustrious Governor felt it necessary to give everything to the Seneca. That apparently allows them to violate any State Law they want to. Like smoking in their facility, and Selling tax free cigarettes Batavia Downs is bad enough with the smoking rooms. They are horrible, and that junk spills out every time a door is open. But having said that, now that the agreement has been broken, how about tables at the Downs?? Why not?? Why give it all to the Seneca for Political reasons. And for gosh sakes lets call it what it is, a Casino!! Lets require the Seneca to abide by State Pollution Laws, and tax cigarettes like everybody else does. Except of course the Seneca's themselves. We all know that Water Slide Park I now sovereign land.lol

tom hunt
macaroo's picture
Joined: Jan 31 2009

Fred, our Governor did all this to recover about 500 million dollars out of the 800 million dollars the Seneca owed NYS in back assessments. I am sure the other 300 million was set aside to build future Indian Casinos either in down town Buffalo or the untapped market of Rochester.

Mark Potwora
mepot's picture
Joined: May 14 2008

Why is New York State in the gambling business in the first place?

Jason Crater
Jason C's picture
Joined: Aug 25 2009


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