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Senecas turn the other Cheek-tawoga

Aug 19, 2003 4:44 AM

The Seneca Nation said no to Buffalo.

The Buffalo News reported last Friday that the Indians had eliminated the Western New York city from consideration as its choice for a second casino.

Instead, the Senecas chose suburban Cheektawoga as the new location, with three sites being explored. It is possible that the tribe will decide on an area near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello said he is prepared to lobby against the Cheektawoga site before the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, which must approve the locale. The Mayor also indicated he might ask Gov. George Pataki to block the plan.

Masiello said that the Senecas broke promises made two years ago when the tribe signed the casino compact with the state.

"Commitments were made to have a casino in downtown Buffalo," Masiello said. "It’s obvious that this is driven by special interests, and it’s not in the interest of Buffalo or Western New York."

Denver is ”˜game’

The fight over video gaming at Colorado racetracks is officially on.

Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson told the Denver Post last Friday that enough valid signatures have been gathered to get the tourism-boosted proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The measure, if passed, would place 500 video lottery terminals at each of the state’s five racetracks. The state would harvest 61 percent of the revenue from the lucrative, slot-like machines and use it for tourism promotion and open space protection.

Proponents for the slot machines need to collect 67,829 signatures. The majority of Colorado’s 43 casino owners see the introduction of slot machines at racetracks as a direct threat to limited stakes gambling.

Lights out business

The blackout across the Northeast last Thursday left hundreds of gamblers stranded in Atlantic City, Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

"How am I going to get home? I’m stranded," said Louise Brown, 53, of New York, appealing to a bus center clerk at Caesar’s Atlantic City Hotel Casino.

After spending the day gambling, Brown told CNN she had a ticket for her return trip by bus, but that it was worthless because none were in operation. Reportedly, she didn’t have a dime in her pocket.

Another New Yorker, Dianne Smith, sat with three other friends in Bally’s Atlantic City transportation center.

"You’d think they’d try to accommodate us since we gamble here, but they said they’re booked up. What can we do? Sit here or sit at the Atlantic City bus station. Here smells better."

Alaska ready to roll

House Speaker Pete Kott said it’s a good bet that plans to expand gambling in Alaska will soon meet success in the State House.

State senators are interested in at least discussing it, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee is talking about holding a hearing priot to the January start of the legislative session.

Legislators blocked gambling plans in the last session and are vowing to fight even harder this time around.

Sens won’t touch R.I. ban

The U.S. Senators will not try to overturn Rhode Island’s gambling ban to allow the Narragansett Indians to open a casino.

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., said he will not independently propose legislation to drop the gambling prohibition from Rhode Island’s 1978 Claims Settlement Act.

The Capitol Hill staff has met with state tribal leaders to offer assistance on economic prospects, aside from gambling.

Around the USA:

Kansas: Operators of a proposed tribal casino in downtown Kansas City took job applications last week. No date for the grand opening has been set.

Louisiana: The Fairgrounds has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing a court ruling that will likely force the racetrack to pay horse owners more than $100 million.

Missouri: Ameristar Casino made a $1.21 million mistake in its monthly slot revenue report to the Gaming Commission. The error involved gross revenue and was corrected on the commission’s website.