Now we know how Monroe County feels about possibly having a casino within its borders: it doesn't want it. County Executive Maggie Brooks has sent a letter (see below) to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the federal Department of the Interior expressing opposition to putting a casino in Monroe, according to a press release sent out by Brooks this morning.
The Seneca Gaming Corporation, an affiliate of the Seneca Nation of Indians, purchased 32 acres on Clay Road in Henrietta this year to develop a casino, hotel, and related facilities. The Seneca Nation still has the land, though the Henrietta Town Board is officially on record opposing a casino.
Gates Supervisor Mark Assini has said that he would welcome a casino at the Rochester Tech Park, which is located along Elmgrove Road in the town. But it's not clear if the Senecas are interested.
While the local governments do not have any official say over where Seneca casinos go, their opinions could influence state and federal officials, who do have the authority.
The Seneca Nation's casino plan has faced vigorous opposition from the No More Casinos Coalition -- a group backed by two area racino operators. Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson has been loosely affiliated with the coalition.
The coalition has been making the rounds, urging local municipalities to oppose a Monroe County casino.
Due in part to that pressure, the Seneca Nation said in a May letter that it is not pursuing a Monroe County casino "at this time."