Central New York casinos rallying against incoming Lago Casino

Nov 19, 2015

Construction is underway on the Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County. But, that isn't stopping other casinos in the region from rallying to  block it.

When the New York Gaming Facility Location Board announced last year that the town of Tyre could build a commercial casino, it received a mixed reaction. Some like Bob Shipley, the majority leader with the Seneca County Board of Supervisors, were thrilled.
"When the facility opens, it’s supposed to create 1,800 full-time jobs," Shipley said. "Jobs is number one to an area that has really been depressed over the last few years. Let’s face it, New York state is not thriving with manufacturing."

Others criticized the decision, like Oneida Indian Nation spokesman Michael McKeon. He rallied against Lago in Albany with more than one hundred employees from the Oneida Nation's Turning Stone Casino in Verona and Finger Lakes Racing & Gaming in Farmington.

"We all understand that upstate needs more and better jobs, but taking jobs from one community and moving it to another community – I don’t think that’s economic development. That’s just shifting things around and the government picking winners and losers."

Opponents of Lago say it would kill more jobs than it creates. So, the protestors called on the New York Gaming Commission, which has yet to license the facility, to reject Lago's application because they think it will steal their business. However, Shipley said it is likely too late for the gaming commission to reverse the location board's decision.