Senecas Purchase Land to Build Casino in Henrietta

- Henrietta residents are weighing in tonight on the real possibility of a casino opening in their backyard.  It became real today because the Seneca Nation announced it purchased 32-acres of land on Clay Road in Henrietta.     The Senecas already have three casinos in Western New York.     Some are gambling it will be a win for the town, others want the Senecas to fold right now.

The stakes are high.  Henrietta has to weigh whether a casino will be a win for the town and those who live here.  

"I think the people have to speak, period.  Okay?  But we've got to have the other side and understand what they're proposing.  And as the community discusses it and tears it apart, and makes a decision of the good or bad of this proposal," said Jack Moore, Henrietta Town Supervisor.

Supervisor Moore estimates 40% of residents want the casino,  60% don't.  Those who don't spoke loud and clear at a town board meeting a couple of weeks ago.  Tonight resident John Ventresca echoed those sentiments.

"I'm really nervous.  I'm really worried about the future of Henrietta.  That, this would just be a big mistake for Henrietta. I think it's a lot of smoke and mirrors.  From what I saw on the news from Seneca today, all these terrific promises of jobs, and money and streets paved with gold.  And I think it's a lot of, they're out to make money for themselves," said John Ventresca, Henrietta resident.

The Senecas claim a casino, hotel and restaurants will create 5,000 jobs and attract 3.5 million visitors a year.

"I think we have a lot of other communities where there's gaming, such as where Turning Stone is, the Niagara Falls area, Canandaigua.  I think that they've shown that they can support that.  And if anything it brings in tax dollars that will help with the infrastructure and building it out," said Nicole Knight, Henrietta resident.

There's been no formal proposal to the town for a casino.  Moore expects one soon.

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