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Saying nothing goes a long way in N.Y.

Oct 28, 2002 11:38 PM

   Sometimes the best decisions are the ones not made.

   Interior Secretary Gale Norton decided to ignore a deadline on either approving or disapproving the Seneca Nation gaming compact in New York, allowing the measure to automatically take effect.

   Gov. George Pataki, who has been a supporter of gaming in his state, called the decision, “tremendous news.”

   “The final step in the compact approval process means that new jobs the facilities will create are on the way,” Pataki said.

   The compact’s approval is a big step forward in the Senecas efforts to open a casino in the Niagara Falls Convention Center next year and in Buffalo at a later date.

   “This is great news for the Seneca Nation and the people of Western New York,” said Cyrus Schindler Jr., president of the tribe. “This means we are going to continue to move forward with the job creations and vital economic development.”

   There was no explanation for why Norton decided to ignore the deadline and stay quiet.

   Supporters, according to the Buffalo News, seemed unconcerned about the particulars of the approval except to say that good progress is being made in casino planning.

   AC fights Meadowlands

   Atlantic City is dead set against having Meadowlands Racetrack gain 3,000 slot machines.

   “We’re stating our opposition that this is not in the best interest of Atlantic City or New Jersey,” said Timothy Wilmott, Casino Association of New Jersey president. “Slot machines at tracks don’t create jobs or the type of development that supports an economy.”

   The bill had been introduced because the Meadowlands owner, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, is short of funds.

   It would take a statewide vote to change the constitution in order to enact the bill.

State Sen. Joseph Suliga, D-Middlesex, said Meadowlands slots would help Atlantic City by forcing casinos to become more accommodating to patrons.