Henrietta Town Supervisor Jack Moore has come out officially against a Seneca casino in the town. Earlier this week, the Seneca Gaming Corporation, an affiliate of the Seneca Nation of Indians, announced that it had purchased 32 acres on Clay Road for potential casino development.
Moore just sent out the following statement, and is holding a press availability at 3:15 p.m.:
As Henrietta Town Supervisor, it is my responsibility to represent the views of the residents of the town. Upon evaluating the input from town residents, I believe that now is the time to take a position on the establishment of a casino in the Town of Henrietta. At the next Town Board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at 7 p.m., I will introduce, for consideration of the Town Board, a resolution expressing the Town Board’s opposition to the establishment of a gaming casino in the Town of Henrietta and urging those state and federal officials who have decision-making authority to deny permission for casino gaming in the Town of Henrietta.
UPDATE 4:30 p.m. —
During the press conference, Moore said he's confident his resolution opposing a Seneca Nation of Indians casino in Henrietta will pass unanimously.
He said he's received substantial feedback from town residents, not just during the past two Town Board meetings, but also via e-mails and public encounters. The vast majority of the people he's spoken to oppose the casino, he said, though a small number have told him they support it.
Moore said Henrietta is a family-oriented community and a casino would have a negative impact. He conceded that some jobs would accompany the casino, but said the only real benefit to the casino would be in the form of revenue for the town. But the money isn't worth it, he said.
"This government has never had a problem paying its bills," Moore said.
The town has no approval authority regarding the casino, but officials' opposition could be enough to prevent the necessary state and federal approvals.
Moore also had harsh words for the No More Casinos Coalition, which he called the "No More Casinos Competition Coalition." The coalition, which is supported by the region's two racino operators, Western Regional Off-Track Betting and Delaware North, has been working to get residents to attend Henrietta meetings. Moore said the coalition basically amounts to one group of casinos arguing another casino shouldn't be allowed.
John Riley, a spokesperson for the No More Casinos Coalition, said "regardless of his tantrum at the end," the coalition is happy that Moore is opposing the casino.