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Finger Lakes Gaming, Sen. Helming say Rochester site would impact tax-paying casinos in region

  • / Updated:
  • Josh Durso 

While there’s been a lot of talk over the last two days about a possible casino being built in the Rochester-area – one local legislator is weighing into it – saying other local casinos should be considered.

The idea of a Rochester-based casino is being touted as part of the state’s potential deal with the Seneca Nation.

State Sen. Pam Helming, R-54, says a Rochester-based casino could have a big impact on other local casinos.

“Any discussion of a potential casino in Rochester should not only involve local officials and stakeholders in the City and Monroe County – it should also involve those in the region,” Helming said in a statement late-Monday.

Those cited in the Senator’s statement include Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack in Ontario County, and del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County.

“A Seneca Nation casino could put these businesses at severe risk and jeopardize local jobs, tax revenues and our economy,” Helming continued. The risks not only pertain to the casinos themselves, but the small businesses they support throughout the region – like farms and others who work with those casinos.

Another concern? Infrastructure projects and local investments that have been made possible thanks to those tax-paying casinos in Seneca and Ontario counties.

“We should be mindful that Ontario County would be a very different community without Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack,” Helming concluded. “Regional stakeholders deserve to be heard in this process and I urge the Gvoernor’s Office to give taxpayers full transparency.”

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack issued the following statement on Monday, which was published by

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has long been a vital economic contributor in the Rochester region by employing over 1,500 local residents and supporting the region’s agricultural and equine economies through racing. The state’s video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming venues contribute a far greater percentage of their revenue to the state than the Seneca casinos, meaning the demise of the Finger Lakes venue at the hands of a Rochester-area Seneca casino would cost the state tens of millions of dollars in revenue and the regional economy thousands of jobs.