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Orleans to oppose casino efforts in Monroe County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Orleans County legislators are expected to formally oppose any efforts to bring a casino in neighboring Monroe County because of the potential impact on Batavia Downs, which is partly owned by Orleans.

There is no formal plan for a casino in Monroe, but developer David Flaum is talking with the Seneca Nation of Indians about a project in Henrietta.

Orleans opposes that effort and is against any new casino developments in Western New York.Orleans and 14 other counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo are all part owners of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., which is based in Batavia and owns Batavia Downs. WROTB in October opened a revamped Batavia Downs with $20 million in renovations.

The site helps generate nearly $60 million in profits for the state and WROTB’s member municipalities.

Marcia Tuohey, Orleans County’s representative on the WROTB board, is scheduled to speak with the Legislature on Wednesday at a 4:05 p.m. conference session. She will be joined by Michael Nolan, executive vice president and chief operating officer for WROTB.

The Legislature will vote on a resolution opposing the Seneca expansion into Monroe County. The new casino would “oversaturate the regional gaming marketplace and cause financial distress with Western Regional Off Track Betting and to the 17 municipal stakeholders,” according to the resolution.

The resolution also calls on the state Legislature and Gov. Cuomo to not allow additional casinos west of Route 14 in Geneva, Ontario County, due to the presence of many existing facilities, including the Batavia Downs.