Finger Lakes Group Trying to Stop State-Backed Casino Project

May 1, 2014

Some Finger Lakes Residents don't think this looks like a good place for a casino.

  A Finger Lakes community is trying to fight back against a proposed casino development.  The Town of Tyre, just north of Seneca Falls, has passed a local law to rezone a parcel of farmland in hopes that one of the state’s newly approved gambling resorts might be built there.  

Desiree Dawley lives right next to the proposed casino site.  She doesn’t buy the promised benefits of local revenue and both construction and permanent jobs.

They are touting that it’s this great thing and it’s not.  The kind of jobs that mostly will come will still keep people in need.  And it’s a one-to-three ratio.  For every dollar that our governing body receives from a casino percentage it will cost us three dollars in social ills and you can look that up all across the country.” 

Dawley is part of Casino Free Tyre and says more than 170 people have signed a petition to reverse a decision that changed zoning on the land to allow the casino.  The national group Stop Predatory Gambling has come to help.  Director Les Bernal joined residents at their protest today…and says government sponsored gambling in states such as California and Connecticut show the gains are not worth the costs.

“The independent evidence overwhelmingly shows that it’s failed as any kind of jobs producer.  These are jobs that produce inequality; these are jobs that represent the transfer of wealth from the have-nots to the haves.  From a public health standpoint, from an economic standpoint and even from a financial revenue standpoint for local communities, this has been a public policy.”

Wilmorite has given town officials a proposal for a casino and resort and paid the state $1 million for an application fee.

  That policy was part of Governor Cuomo’s plans to site as many as seven casinos in the state…distributing tax windfalls to local governments.  


Wilmorite Chairperson Thomas Wilmot estimates the project would create one-thousand construction jobs…and up to two-thousand permanent jobs.  He unveiled the plans back in December.  Wilmorite also says local residents have rallied in support of the facility as well.  

A court challenge to the zoning change is expected to be heard next month.