NY Gaming Commission to vote Monday on license for Seneca County casino – Auburn Citizen

December 19, 2015 6:45 am  • 

After a year-long waiting game, supporters and opponents of Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County will find out Monday whether the project will be awarded a license by the state Gaming Commission.

The panel will meet at 2 p.m. Monday in New York City to consider three casino proposals, including Lago. The meeting will be streamed on the commission’s website.

The decision on Lago will come more than a year after the state Gaming Facility Location Board, which was tasked with reviewing casino proposals, recommended the Seneca County proposal for a gaming license.

Wilmorite, a Rochester-area real estate development firm, wants to build the $425 million gaming resort in Tyre, which is located off exit 41 of the New York State Thruway.

The facility will include a 94,000-square foot casino with 2,000 slot machines and 85 table games, dining and entertainment venues, a 217-room hotel, a parking garage and spa.

The project is expected to create 1,800 construction jobs. Once it’s built, the casino will have approximately 1,800 employees.

Steve Greenberg, Lago’s spokesman, said they are looking forward to the Gaming Commission’s meeting.

“We are excited at the opportunity to obtain a casino license so we can build and operate the best resort and casino in upstate New York and begin to bring good jobs and increased tourism to the Finger Lakes region,” he said.

While Lago will likely receive a license, the casino has its share of foes. A group of local residents oppose the project because of safety concerns due to the expected increase in traffic and the impact it will have on the town’s rural character.

Desiree Dawley, a spokeswoman for Casino Free Tyre, urged the Gaming Commission to prevent the casino from moving forward.

 “It remains undisputed that Tyre town officials colluded with a private real estate mogul, and together they ran roughshod over our state’s environmental laws,” she said.

“The Gaming Commission would be doing the state a disservice and abdicating its responsibilities if it approves a license while courts are reviewing whether environmental laws were followed as a part of Lago’s application process.”

Residents aren’t the only opponents. Some existing upstate gaming facilities also have spoken out against Lago.

The Oneida Indian Nation has been the most prominent critic of Lago’s bid and has called on the Gaming Commission to reject Wilmorite’s application for a license.

The Oneidas operate Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango. The tribe says if Lago is built, it will cannibalize revenues from these facilities, which could lead to job cuts.

“Auburn Pub”

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