New $350 million casino proposed for Finger Lakes

A Rochester contractor has proposed a Las Vegas-style casino for the Finger Lakes area. The casino is said to be built just a few miles outside the area where the three westernmost New York casinos have a gambling exclusivity. These casinos are operated by the Seneca Nation of Indians.

Wilmot Casino and Resort, named after real estate director Thomas Wilmot of Rochester, is said to be a $ 350 million construction. The property developers expect an average of 9,000 players per day.

The casino would be located in the city of Tire in the district of Seneca, directly on the highway.

Not far from the proposed casino is Route 14, a north-south highway that runs from Lake Ontario to Pennsylvania. A 10-year old agreement with the state, renewed this year by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, states that this road represents the eastern border for developers of new casinos, as these are considered competitors to the Seneca casinos in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca are considered. The new casino could be built in one of the three areas where the state allows up to four casinos in the first phase of the casino expansion program, voted on by voters nationwide last month. The corresponding zone begins in the south near Binghamton and extends to an area between Syracuse and Rochester.

Wilmot wants to take advantage of this excellent opportunity. This is not his first casino project. His company has already built several large shopping centers in Monroe County. About 10 years ago, he proposed to build a casino in downtown Rochester, but this idea has never been realized.

The plans for the construction project, which were published at the end of December 2013, received the approval of several local politicians, including the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Seneca district, Robert Hayssen. The contractors must have local support to qualify for one of the casino licenses to be awarded in the second half of 2014.

The terms of the Seneca Nation’s exclusivity rule state that no other casino may be built west of Route 14. In return for this exclusivity, the state and local government receive a quarter of the tribe’s slot machine revenue. Wilmot plans the site for the new construction project near Route 14, but not in the forbidden zone.

Voters approved the amendment to the state constitution last month. Thus, up to seven new casinos can be operated with slot machines and table games such as poker. Cuomo, who suggested the casino expansion, said enlargement was an important boost to the economy. However, critics are of the opinion that the game search rate will increase and there will be no real economic benefit.

Wilmot wants to create an arcade with 2,000 slot machines and 100 table games and a hotel with five restaurants. Its overall development plan will create 1,800 jobs. The casino is said to be built near junction 41 of the highway.

Other applications for casinos in the same region as well as for casinos in the other two regions that have been granted gambling permits through the casino expansion plan have already been received: the Albany and Saratoga Springs region and the Mid-Hudson Valley / Catskills Area.

The winners will be selected by a panel, but so far this has not been compiled by the State Gambling Commission.