The introduction of casinos in the state of New York might very well lead to compromising relationships between the Amish and other local residents.
Since setting foot in a small farm town along the New York State Thruway, the Amish residents have been the heart and soul of the local community. Cultivating their land and practicing a humble and peaceful life was part of their everyday activities throughout the past decade. They would often give their produce to local neighbors and always pay their taxes.
However the prospect of casino developments emerging near their settlements poses a threat to their way of life. According to gambling news, the planned casino that would be located between Syracuse and Rochester could lead to some of the Amish residents leaving their current area.
Local Amish residents launch campaign to battle casino developments
• Planned casinos facing battle against local Amish residents
• State Gaming Commission ready to decide four casino locations
• Economic benefits could prove as the winning argument for the developments
Bishop Daniel Schwartz is a local farmer that cultivates land and raises cows, chickens and corn across a busy highway where the casino is set to be built. He has expressed his protestations against the planned development quite clearly. The 43-year-old plans to leave the region he has known for years if the casino plans come to fruition.
Schwartz is not alone in his objections, as many other Amish resident have also expressed their disapproval of a casino being built with minimal proximity to their homes. A group of them have started a campaign which involves them sitting quietly in court hearings, travelling to important state events and also expressing their views on the matter only in handwriting.
Mobile casinos report that Schwartz outlined his views on the heated topic by claiming that gambling is against religious morals and can bear no positive results from practicing such activities. “Gambling goes against the teaching of the Bible, and the fruits of gambling are all bad,” Schwartz stated.
The officials of the Tyre, New York, do not agree with the views set forth by the Amish community. The leaders of the small town strongly support the casino developments, as they believe that this will help create numerous jobs and bring in millions in revenue. Additionally, the casino would aid local tourism and improve many municipal matters.
The town supervisor, Ronald F. McGreevy, campaigned for the casino insisted that the Amish are overvaluing themselves and that their entire population stands at a modest 950. “As the old saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. There is certainly not going to be a mass exodus if this comes to fruition.”
Protesters claim potential casinos could bring harm to environment
The ongoing battle between the leaders of Tyre and the Amish residents is not the only point of for the pro-casino supporters. The State Gaming Commission is looking to decide on the exact location of four new casinos after issuing licenses earlier this year. Opponents to the developments have pointed out to several important aspects to consider before pressing ahead.
Objections normally involve the hazard that the casinos pose for the environment and the wildlife that comes with it. Some environmentalists want to stop the construction of a $1.5 billion casino project by Malaysian biggest gaming firm Genting. They believe the casino could possible damage a forest in Tuxedo in Orange County and endanger other areas as well.
Opponents of the casinos in East Greenbush, near Albany, presented serious accusations that the local leaders of the town rigged the process which lead to the developer winning the support of the officials. Gambling directory reports that the opponents have even sued the leaders over the affairs and have named the officials in the complaints to the local court.
Rodger Friedman, a member of the group against casino developments in Tuxedo highlighted his views and expressed strong criticism towards the officials that want the casinos to come to fruition. “We wanted to show the Gaming Commission that the town’s show of community support was not so smooth and un-pockmarked as they might want it to look.”
The main reason for the large scale casino projects have to do with economic reasons. Many jobs would be created while millions would pour through the state regularly. Although the Amish may leave the community, some supporters might argue that it would benefit Tyre overall, as the town would stand to profit from many areas associated with casino industry.