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OPENING A CASINO IN ERIE COUNTY WILL DO FAR MORE HARM THAN GOOD

More than two years have passed since the Seneca Niagara Casino opened. A recent News headline claimed, "Several Falls developments adding life to city." The message seems to be: Wait a few more years and the casino will work its magic. Let's get beyond the propaganda and look at the facts.

Since the casino opened, two hotels have been foreclosed and another is for sale. One large restaurant has closed and many others are struggling. The ice skating rink in Lackey Plaza is gone, replaced by the walkway to the casino. This is adding life to the city?

Sure, a new hotel is being built. But it is on the 57 acres deeded to the Senecas as part of the casino deal. The hotel, like the casino and other businesses on this newly formed reservation, will not provide one penny of tax revenue to the city and provides unfair competition to existing hotels.

Do not be fooled into thinking that a casino can be the salvation of any city. As an economic engine, gambling has been a dismal failure wherever it's been tried. It may be too late to save Niagara Falls, but Erie County can save itself by saying "no" to a casino.

Mary Bartley

Co-Chairwoman, Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County