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State, Casino Opponents Allow Work to Continue

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – New York State and casino opponents reached an agreement Tuesday that will allow work on the planned casino at the Niagara Falls Convention Center to proceed.

The Senecas began work last week on converting the convention center into a casino. But opponents wanted the work put on hold while a legal challenge makes its way through the courts.

Also, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has yet to give its blessing to the project.

Under the agreement reached Tuesday, work can proceed but will be limited to structural improvements involving the ventilation, heating and electrical systems. For now, the installation of gambling equipment will not be allowed.

The state also agreed to delay transferring title to the convention center over to the Senecas, pending federal government approval.

In State Supreme Court in Albany, anti-gambling lawyer Cornelius Murray is challenging the constitutionality of the legislation permitting three Seneca casinos our area.

The Senecas have targeted New Year's Eve for the grand opening of the Niagara Falls casino.