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.