A recent report by Politico over the framework of a contract between the state and the Seneca Nation, which includes a casino in the city of Rochester or the surrounding area, is causing a stir locally.
Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington released the following statement in response to the unconfirmed report.
“Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has long been a vital economic contributor in the Rochester region by employing over 1,500 local residents and supporting the region’s agricultural and equine economies through racing. The state’s video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming venues contribute a far greater percentage of their revenue to the state than the Seneca casinos, meaning the demise of the Finger Lakes venue at the hands of a Rochester-area Seneca casino would cost the state tens of millions of dollars in revenue and the regional economy thousands of jobs. We implore the state Assembly to intervene to stop this back-door deal.”
State Senator Pamela Helming also voiced her concern about the potential of a casino in Rochester and the impact it could have on Ontario County and the entire region.
“Any discussion of a potential casino in Rochester should not only involve local officials and stakeholders in the City of Rochester and Monroe County – it should also involve those in the region, including Ontario County and Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack in my district, as well as Seneca County and del Lago, and Genesee County and Batavia Downs.
“A Seneca Nation casino could put these businesses at severe risk and jeopardize local jobs, tax revenues, and our economy, including the farmers and small businesses that work with them, and the critical infrastructure projects and other investments they make possible in our communities.
“We should be mindful that Ontario County would be a very different community without Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack.
“Regional stakeholders deserve to be heard in this process and I urge the Governor’s office to give taxpayers full transparency.”
Rochester’s Mayor claims that neither City leadership nor members of the city’s delegation in Albany have been involved in any conversations related to the possibility of a casino in Rochester. There has been no comment from the state.