Big New Year’s Eve slated for Niagara

Dec 31, 2002 12:02 AM

New Year’s Eve will be special for the Niagara Falls area this year with the grand opening of the Seneca Niagara Casino.

New York Gov. George Pataki will begin the festivities with a 12 noon ribbon cutting ceremony. The Las Vegas-style glitz will be a stark contrast to both the rust-belt city of Niagara Falls and the rural poverty of the 7,200-member Seneca Nation of Indians, which own the casino.

"We’re going to take better care of our elders, build roads, build sewers, create a better life for our future generations," Seneca Nation President Rick Armstrong told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

According to Tom Darro, spokesman for the Niagara Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, developers have started buying up options on downtown properties.

The new developments are slated to begin in the spring.

Big sale at Trump

Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. is preparing a $470 million bond sale that would be used to retire debt backed by the company’s Trump Marina and Trump Indiana casinos.

The Press of Atlantic City reported that Trump tried the same sale last spring when investors demanded interest rates that the company was unwilling to pay. The situation became more positive after second and third quarter cash flow at the two casinos rose 27 percent from the same period last year.

"Before we were just talking about the results," Donald Trump said of his company. "Now we’re showing the results."

CEO to the rescue

William J. Velardo, president and CEO of the Mohegan Sun wants to develop a plan for helping problem gamblers.

"I think allowing someone to consume the product when you know the person suffers from a gambling disorder is wrong," Velardo said.

"Of any company I have ever worked for, I don’t believe they consciously allowed someone who had a disorder to play," he continued. "Even when I was a dealer 26 years ago, we’d discourage someone we thought had a problem from playing."