The local town board voted against the establishment of a new casino in town.
Residents filled the room at the board meeting and 18 locals spoke up, most of them opposing the idea. American gambling laws recommend that local authorities consider all aspects of any new casino project, both its financial advantages and social impact. It became clear at the meeting that residents did not want a gambling venue in their town.
The application for the new casino license was submitted by a company representing the Seneca Nation of Indians, who criticized the town board’s decision. A statement issued after the vote and published in local gambling news claims Henrietta is missing out on a $200 million private investment, 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 other permanent jobs.
The casino developer criticized town officials for acting “prematurely” and added that authorities should have engaged the community in a discussion about the benefits of the project. Company representatives refused to appear in front of the board, considering that “there is little benefit to make the presentation at this point”.
The developer had already bought 32 acres of land in Henrietta, in hopes that local authorities will approve the application. The company might push for another vote, as federal law says the US Secretary of the Interior has the final say on the matter. When asked if the company will go on with its plans, spokesman Phil Pantano told reporters: “Time will tell”.