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rouletteA source called me last night and said, “Don’t believe anything you read about the Henrietta casino.”

This is far from a done deal. Flaum (who’s donated $99,000 to Cuomo) has been hired by the Senecas to find a casino site in Henrietta. The Senecas have exclusive rights to a casino in Rochester. Flaum and the Senecas refused to take questions after sending out a super-vague press release.

Here’s what I would ask: Mr. Flaum, do you have a contract with the Senecas that says you’re the exclusive developer of the Rochester area casino?

If he doesn’t, the door is wide open for others to squeak in. My guess is Scott Congel was livid at the Flaum/Seneca/Henrietta announcement. It’s no secret he wants a casino at Medley Centre.

(Batavia Downs and Finger Lakes have also got to be pretty upset with the prospect of a Rochester casino. There’s no question they would lose business.)

There are other reasons to be suspicious of this announcement:

– Henrietta Town Supervisor Mike Yudelson had no clue this was coming.

– Former Henrietta Supervisor Jim Breese doesn’t think there’s any town support for a casino.

– No specific location was identified.

– Asssemblyman Joe Morelle, who is part of the state legislature that must sign off on a new casino, would prefer it locate in the city.

– Mayor Tom Richards is no fan of casinos.

– The state compact with the Senecas doesn’t allow a Rochester casino.

– The federal government would have to sign off.

Finally, did anyone feel any excitement after yesterday’s announcement? Very few people seemed to be jumping up and down with joy at the prospect of a casino in…Henrietta.

This trial balloon may have already started to deflate.


Links of the Day:


– Costco has applied for tax breaks for its Rochester store. It would only pay 10 percent of its property tax bill the first year.

– It is supremely difficult to attend a Buffalo school board meetingand understand what’s going on.

– Monroe County may be better off selling Monroe Community Hospital.

– The Supreme Court will hear the Greece town board prayer case in November.

– Hyperlocal news websites can work. Howard Owens and The Batavian were featured in USA Today.

– Wegmans doesn’t want to pay Washington D.C.’s “living wage.”

– What the UK did to The Guardian should scare all of us.

Obama’s million-dollar bus.

14 Responses to Don’t Believe the Hype

  1. August 21, 2013 at 8:59 am RaChaCha responds:

    This could also be a bargaining chip (pun intended-ish) to smoke out (pun intended-ish) interest &/or opposition. This kind of poker game (pun totally intended) also went on here in Erie County.

    [plus other random gambling puns I’m too lazy to actually type]

    • August 21, 2013 at 9:23 am Booored...man...street responds:

      I would say that the…odds…of Henrietta…rolling the dice…on this project are high, because they don’t seem to give a crap about what or where they build anything.

  2. To address a few of the reasons for suspicion:
    • Breese obviously didn’t see the news last night where people interviewed in the area seemed supportive
    • If they are, as originally stated, “…hired by the Senecas to find a casino site” then it is obvious no specific location was identified. They are finding a site.
    • Mayor Richards represents Rochester so his not being a fan is just not relevant to Henrietta.
    • The state compact that doesn’t allow a casino in Rochester is not relevant for a casino in Henrietta.
    • I don’t understand how the fact that the federal government has to sign off on it would be a reason for suspicion. Does that make any federal project suspicious?

    As for asking Mr. Flaum if he has exclusive contract, what difference would a YES or NO answer make? Others may try to work with the Senecas, but Flaum has a history so they may prefer him. If Congel wants Medley Center then he can offer his findings.

    From a geographical standpoint, both Turning Stone to the east and Seneca Niagara to the west are easily accessible from the thruway which is appealing, drawing in outside customers. That makes Henrietta more desirable than Irondequoit from an accessibility standpoint.

  3. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ~ Mark Twain

    A quick trip to locales which have casinos quickly displays the nature of the establishment. A wholly self-contained environment with very little development outside of a few gas stations and chain stores. Be it Farmington (Finger Lakes Racetrack); Salamanca (Seneca); the half built Buffalo casino; Las Vegas (go, do not watch the movies); et alia. These areas thrive only with mass transit and good marketing. Ask anyone in Detroit what benefit Greektown has brought.

  4. August 21, 2013 at 11:51 am Orielly responds:

    Henrietta has lots of space for it ..from the former fair grounds to West Henrietta Rd past Leigh Station, space Henrietta is not problem.

    A Casino would lower taxes in already low taxed Henrietta. Making more people want to move there.. what a concept.

    Think its a trial balloon? Put it in the right place and show a tax reduction and I think it will fly in a second. And really why should Henrietta care about hurting Victor or Batavia?

  5. Regarding the story about The Guardian, to quote from the 3rd paragraph he states, “…our ability to research and publish anything to do with this trove of secret material would be severely constrained …”.

    I guess my question is does a journalist consider it is OK to publish things that in their own words are secret? What is and isn’t OK to publish?

    As a follow up, what makes someone a qualified journalist in terms of freedom of the press?

  6. Just like the RBTL theater, its another project that gets brought up every few years and never goes anywhere. I’ll believe it when it happens.

  7. August 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm Bruce Smith responds:

    I’m all for casinos IF people would play responsibly.My last time at a casino was several years ago at Turning Stone.

  8. Many of the people who object to it say that casinos take people’s money. They cite the fact that casino’s make big profits at the expense of people who gamble. A person might walk in to a casino and a few hours later walk out with two hundred dollars less in his pocket and that in unconscionable in the minds of those who object.

    However, if someone were to go out to a nice restaurant, but tickets for an RBTL production and then go for a drink or dessert afterwards, they would have less money in their pocket. The RBTL would not be chastised by society for taking the patrons money because they provided entertainment.

    Casinos are a form of entertainment, and as Bruce says, people should play responsibly. Unlike RBTL, by going to a casino for entertainment, the patron may end up with more money than he started with.

    • October 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm dew4794 responds:

      Gambling maybe – Casinos NO! Casinos suck money out of the city. Look at Niagara Falls; downtown is plywood city. Atlantic City’s ghetto is right next door to the casinos. Riverboats in Iowa, nice around the casino, downtowns are boarded up. Why you ask? Small businesses can’t compete. Casino customers stay in their all inclusive complex. Property taxes increase by increase assessment values as well

      Jobs-service industry jobs mostly- they don’t transfer well to other occupations.

      About 2/3 of the revenue comes from gambling addicted customers, not from grandma Saedy and Uncle Elmer.

      Education revenue for the States, yes, BUT not additional monies. Why? Cash strapped governments use their income money for other budget stuff.

      Crime? Las Vegas doesn’t report hotel and bank robberies. It’s huge.
      AND why did the “gaming industry” contribute huge sums to the Cuomo campaign? Hummm?

      • The casinos also offer entertainment in the form of concerts and shows. Bringing in some nationally known entertainers will be good for the area. Many people will come for the show and not for the tables. Those people will help surrounding businesses

        The addicted gamblers are going to gamble, be it with Lotto or scratch offs or in the neighborhood numbers games or by driving up the road to Finger Lakes or Batavia. Heck they even go to the Bingo games.

        Atlantic City has loads of casinos. A casino in Henrietta won’t take away from people shopping at Marketplace Mall or stop people from going out for a meal at the restaurants on Jefferson Road. The casinos aren’t in the retail or eatery market.

        They will give people another choice of things to do.

  9. August 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm Wendy Cowell responds:

    Rachel I think that the casino should go where it was first talked about and that was Gates NY.. Gates has lots of land and could use the business.. It would be located between both ends of the 90 either west or east on the 490.. Henrietta has way to much stuff and is a nightmare to get through at times..

  10. New FBI crime report: number one dangerous State for crime is Tennessee. Number two State, crimes per capita, NEVADA, robberies, burglaries, car thief. SURPRISE SURPRISE. And who pays for the crime TAX PAYERS.

    • Are you telling me that Bluegrass music is what drives people to steal?

      Or maybe it’s all the Elvis impersonators…

      What other connections can we make????

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