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Senecas 'top off' Buffalo Creek Casino

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The permanent Buffalo Creek Casino continues taking shape near the Inner Harbor in downtown Buffalo. A few dozen invited guests and Seneca leaders were on hand Tuesday to witness crews hoisting the structure's final steel beam into place.  Given the current pace of construction, crews should have the shell of the casino at Michigan and Perry Street enclosed by early next month. Around the same time, work on the parking garage will get underway.

Snyder says around 600 union construction workers will be employed on the project which, when completed, will provide 500 good-paying jobs with benefits.

Unlike the Seneca Gaming Corporations's other properties, the Buffalo Creek Casino will not be self-contained, which Snyder says leaves the door open for other businesses.

"We're going to create a lot of energy down here and they're going to have to eat somewhere and go somewhere to sleep. That's how gamblers are, they want a destination. And that's what the City of Buffalo's got to create, that other part of that puzzle so people will stay more than one or two days," said Snyder.

In September, Buffalo Common Council member Michael LoCurto tried to get the project shut down because LoCurto said the Senecas were not living up to their agreement with the city. Seneca Nation of Indians President Barry Snyder calls it "politics."

"He has his reasons, I have no idea. But we're going to stay focused on what we have to do. We're going to bring this casino forward on time, within budget,  and we're going to create a lot of jobs. They haven't talked about jobs. He's talked about everything else," Snyder said.

The downtown casino will feature 800 slot machines and 16 table games. It is expected to open for business in the fall of 2013.