ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Seneca Nation of Indians already runs three casinos in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca. But now they may be eyeing a piece of property near Rochester.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Seneca Nation says it has hired a Rochester developer to organize and coordinate gaming and hospitality development in the Town of Henrietta, a suburb of Rochester.
President Barry Snyder says the Nation is interested in looking for opportunities to grow and complement gaming operations.
State Senator Patrick Gallivan, whose district includes Henrietta, says he thinks a casino in the Rochester area would require state approval.
"I'm pretty sure if you go back to the original compact that the Senecas entered into with the state that provided for this, it does not provide for any additional casinos other than what we have in place," he explained.
Little information is known about an exact site the Nation is eyeing, but by signing a developer, it shows the wheels are in motion.
"I'd be speculating, but it wouldn't surprise me to know that they have certain land already identified and they've hired this developer to do what he can to move the project forward," Sen. Gallivan said.
Timing can be everything. The Seneca Nation and the state recently settled a dispute over casino payments to host communities. Slot machine revenue had been held for years while the dispute dragged on about whether the state violated the Nation's exclusivity zone.
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