“[The state] is going to have to work this thing out with the Seneca Nation who maintain that they have exclusive rights for most of the western part of the state,” says Rochester Mayor Tom Richards. “That's why this [casino idea] is a couple of years away.”
Richards says he was glad to see Cuomo give special attention to upstate New York. As for the idea of more casinos, Richards says he is for it, in specific ways.
“I would not want a casino downtown in Midtown,” he says. “It would change the character of the place and the way things are. I don't favor that.”
Instead, Richards says he has considered the empty building at Kodak to be a good spot for a casino because of the ample space and plentiful parking.
In 2004, the Wilmorite Corporation expressed interest in opening a casino in the Sibley Building. Those plans never came into fruition. A few years ago, the Wilmorite Corporation also tried to open a racino near Syracuse.
After hearing the governor’s plan on Wednesday, Tom Wilmot Jr., Wilmorite’s president of gaming, sent this statement to 13WHAM News:
"Wilmorite has always and will continue to have an interest in being part of gaming in New York State. There are many unknown factors right now but we are interested and excited to hear more about the Govenor's plans."
This issue has been a controversial one. In a March 2012 poll, the Siena College Research Institute poll showed that 48 percent of New York voters supported a constitutional amendment to allow for non-Indian casinos and 49 percent opposed.
13WHAM’s viewers also weighed in on the governor’s plan to expand the state’s gaming on our Facebook page.
Sally Colletti wrote: “Absolutely! I can’t believe that it’s even a controversy. Whether one gambles or not, casinos are a tremendous source of revenue, jobs, tourism, etc… Bring them.”
But Henrietta resident Renee Anderson doesn’t agree. She says that while a casino may bring more jobs, she feels that it will add to people’s gambling problems.
“I personally don't think it's such a good thing,” she says. “You have gamblers who don't need to gamble—people who are addicted to it, people who go up three to four times a week. They could be spending that money on their home or food.”
According to the governor, a gaming commission would pick the best location for the three casinos. He wants to bring in casino developers from across the country and around the world for the bidding process.