Tyre Residents Speak Out About Casino

- We've been hearing a lot about casinos lately and there was talk of it again Thursday night in a community east of Rochester in the heart of the Finger Lakes.  Developer Tom Wilmot wants to put a $350-million casino in Tyre, Seneca County.  It's slated to sit on Route 414, just off the New York State Thruway  exit 41.

Townspeople filled the Magee Fire Hall, many speaking for the first time about the thought of a casino sitting in their small town.

Residents had the floor at Thursday night's public hearing.  A chance to say how they feel about the proposed Wilmot Casino and Resort.

"I'm 100% for it.  And I think that everyone gambles everyday of their life.  And I think this would be good for our revenue, jobs," said Gail McMillian-Thompson, Tyre.

Plans include a casino, hotel, spa, restaurants and entertainment in what now is a cornfield a stone's throw away from the NYS Thruway.

"The effects that casinos bring to cities and towns has been dramatic.  Ya know, the DWI's I'm sure are not all being caught in the parking lot.  Side road traffic in these towns have taken terrible increases," said Jim Dawley, Waterloo.

Developers say the casino would create about 2000 permanent jobs and bring in some $3-point-3 million a year.   Not everyone welcomes the gaming industry in this primarily agricultural town.

"I am personally against it.  I mean I don't have a problem with casinos, per say.  I've been to casinos.  Everybody can gamble if they want to. That's your free choice.  But what I'm against, is the misrepresentation of people," said Mario Fratto, Geneva.

Others say without it, the town cannot thrive.

"This area, for the past five or six years, has been really decimated by loss of jobs.  And this would be a big shot in the arm to the local economy," said Mike Davis, Tyre.

In November, voters approved a state constitutional amendment allowing up to seven new casinos in New York.   One month later, Wilmot announced its plans for Tyre.

If the New York State Gaming Commission approves Wilmot's application, the casino could open in 2016.

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