Niagara Gazette


May 20, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Seneca Niagara Casino is all we need


Niagara Gazette — Maybe the casino doesn’t pay property taxes but they are the only ones I know that have people working in this city that numbers up around 2,000, and are paid very well, with benefits, plus all pay income taxes! Put all your other food business employees together, and they don’t even come close to those numbers, plus who else has come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the city along, like fixing the John Daly Boulevard entrance to the city when Nik Wallenda came to town. Supposedly, the city didn’t have any money to fix that embarrassment, a major entrance to downtown. Question; this might sound minor to some, but who picked up the tab for the Fourth of July awesome fireworks display for residents, the largest in WNY? The casino is always there when it comes to supporting the city. Always.

Credit the Seneca’s for transforming their casino from the convention center, to the tune of $80 million without coming to the public trough, looking for IDA handouts like so many others have. Also credit them for building their world-class hotel without coming to the public trough. Credit the casino for bringing tourists to the city, and a lot of those are by the busloads. Is it the casino’s fault that other businesses haven’t taken advantage of this influx of people by ignoring the potential?

I do have a question: Why is it that when a hotelier wants to build a new hotel, or acquire a hotel or renovate, or even to renovate a restaurant, we need to give them taxpayers money or tax breaks to do it. Can’t we say no? I think the word is out to developers that all of Niagara is an “easy touch.”

To be clear, I am not a very good casino patron, it took me four years before I even went in it, and since then I have spent money there about five or six times. Yes, I always donated, but enjoyed the thrill, and the last time I had enough money left for a couple of $2.25 beers at Player’s Lounge, and watched the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays.

Whatever you do, IF that Cuomo referendum ever makes it to the voting booth, think about it, do we really need another casino anywhere, funded with our dollars?

Mark Daul is a former Niagara Falls homeowner, business person, retired in Youngstown.

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