Is Gambling On The Table Again For Downtown Rochester?

Apr 15, 2016
Originally published on April 15, 2016 7:30 am

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says a downtown casino could provide the region with an important job creation engine.

Warren made the remarks during an appearance on WXXI's Connections with Evan Dawson on Thursday.

The Democrat & Chronicle reports that the city is studying the idea of pairing a casino with a performing arts center -- to be operated by the Seneca Indian Nation.

Warren explained on Connections that on the heels of the growth of photonics, a casino could provide economic balance.

"You have a number of jobs coming on that are highly qualified positions, where you need technical jobs. Well, you also need jobs for individuals who are not necessarily qualified to fill those positions. Where are they coming in? How do we get those businesses? What options are available? And you have to look across the board at that."

Warren stressed that she is not taking a formal position on a casino, but she would like to see a downtown performing arts center.

A spokesman for the city, James Smith, released this statement to WXXI News:

"The Mayor has been approached by local developers on the topic of a casino.  The City has had limited conversations with the Seneca Nation on a myriad of topics including their desire to engage all government units within their traditional home territory, which includes the City of  Rochester.  A very precursory discussion on gaming was part of these conversations.    We remain open to all development options that hold job creation potential.  The Mayor continues to be interested in a Downtown Performing Arts Center.  Mayor Warren's ultimate objective is to find the right project to meet the job creation needs of the community and to reactivate the Main Street corridor."