The Seneca Nation is negotiating an agreement with the state of New York that could bring a casino to Rochester.
US.- The Seneca Nation is reportedly pushing for a casino in the city of Rochester to be included in its agreement for a new 20-year casino gaming compact with New York. The tribe is said to have long seen Rochester and Monroe County as a way to expand in Western New York.
According to Politico.com, the new casino agreement has been passed by the Senate but has not yet been approved in the Assembly amid concerns from Rochester leaders and neighbouring gambling facilities about the impact of a casino in the city.
Assemblymember Harry Bronson told Politico: “This is something that should be seriously discussed in an open and transparent way, and if the rumour is correct and they are considering potentially downtown Rochester or even in the surrounding area of Rochester, local folks should have a say in this.”
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the Seneca Nation and governor Kathy Hochul’s administration have “possibly” negotiated an agreement to bring a casino to Rochester and that it’s already proving to be divisive. Supporters cite economic benefits while opponents say the benefits are overstated and that it will feed gambling addiction.
On Twitter, Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Duffy said he supported an extension of a compact with the Seneca and that he “highly doubt[s] it specifically mandates a casino in the city of Rochester”. He added that the decision is up to mayor Malik Evans, local and state leaders and the tribe.
Monroe County executive Adam Bello said in a statement released Monday afternoon: “A matter as significant as the placement of a casino in Rochester should be discussed out in the open, in conversations that include members of our state delegation and local official. It’s deeply troubling that this community has now been placed in this position of debating an issue without knowing the full details of what has been negotiated.”
If a Rochester casino moves forward, the Senecas would need to buy land and win federal approval to convert it to sovereign land to build a casino.