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Construction Starts on Niagara Falls Casino

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Seneca Nation officials say a Niagara Falls casino will be open by the end of the year. The nation held a news conference Wednesday announcing the start of renovaton on the Niagara Falls Convention Center. It will be the home for the Seneca's first casino in Western New York.

People who have struggled to stop construction of the casinos were not there to protest. Seneca Nation officials faced only cheers and applause as they told about their elaborate plans for the gaming facility.

The celebration came the day after a State Supreme Court judge denied one anti-gaming group's request to stop the work. Other cases are still pending. But Seneca President Cyrus Schindler says the project is going forward.

Schindler has been pushing for casinos in Niagara Falls and Buffalo for about two years now. People from the Nation and from the region have been divided over the casino compact. The local debate ended last month when Governor Pataki signed the deal. Federal approval of the project is still pending. But Seneca Gaming President Mickey Brown says they are already hiring.

The seneca Nation plans to spend $100 million renovating and equipping the gambling facility.