Area Horsemen Protest A Possible Casino In Monroe County

May 7, 2014

Several trucks pulling horse trailers could be seen circling the block of the Monroe County Office building downtown in opposition of a casino in Rochester on Wednesday.

The group No More Casinos is urging county lawmakers to pass a "no" casino resolution, like a dozen other legislators have in Central New York.

The vehicles displayed signs that read: "Say No to a Seneca Casino" and "Don’t put our jobs out to pasture."

David Brown, the head of the Horseman's Association at Finger Lakes Racetrack, says a 4th casino is Western New York doesn’t make sense.  He says approximately 1,500 people could lose their jobs.

“These people are people who have been in this business for years and years. [They’re] second and third generation. This is all they do. This is what they've done. They love the animals. They love the business, and to think of a casino coming in here and take away all of those jobs.”

Finger Lakes Gaming and Batavia Downs collectively employ more than 2,400 people.

The horsemen are worried that tax advantages for a Seneca casino would jeopardize ancillary businesses.

“And the students across New York State who directly benefit from education funding generated by the video lottery terminals,” says Bruce Tubin, the President of Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association.

Bruce says breeders, trainers, drivers, horse breeders and farmers who are supported by racinos will also be affected.

The Seneca Nation paid $2.75 million for a 32-acre plot of land on Clay Road in Henrietta to build a casino on.

The Henrietta Town Board adopted a resolution opposing a casino.

If the Seneca's build a casino in Henrietta, Brown says the Finger Lakes racetrack would most likely shut down.