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Time to stop fighting Buffalo Creek Casino

On Sept. 5, Dianne Bennett, president of Citizens for a Better Buffalo, writes in her letter on Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino’s grand opening, “We now have an economic sinkhole in the midst of one of the state’s poorest neighborhoods. Nothing good can come of this for the citizens of Buffalo.”

The organization has been engaged in ongoing attempts to shut this casino down for years. In fact, it is continuing with an appeal after three attempts in which the third ruling favored the Seneca Nation. (The first two favored the plaintiff.) Its mission statement states it is against gambling in Buffalo.

The partnership between our government and the Seneca Nation has negotiated a legal enterprise with a new $130 million facility and created 600 construction jobs, 500 direct jobs (45 percent filled by Buffalo residents), a projected $170 million in direct and indirect spending with local companies for procurement of goods and services, along with millions of dollars going to the city for its share of casino revenues. All this, according to the organization, is an economic sinkhole.

Buffalo is the third-poorest city in the nation. Our visionaries and leaders, with great effort, have merged to create jobs and prosperity for a resurgence of a once great city. Yet Bennett’s organization seeks to impose its value judgment on the gambling entertainment industry while filtering out the vast contribution made to our anemic economy.

The Buffalo Creek Casino is now a part of the rapidly developing inner harbor. If the appeal rules in favor of Citizens for a Better Buffalo, the analogy of a sinkhole may come true in the literal sense. I hope the Senecas win this one.

Dennis Occhino

Kenmore