posted on February 18, 2014 12:14
Western Regional Off-Track Betting -- the entity that owns Batavia Downs -- has filed an ethics complaint against a Rochester developer and the Seneca Nation.
The complaint contends there are violations of the state’s lobbying law between the Seneca Nation and Seneca Gaming Corporation and David Flaum. The public-benefit corporation wants the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics to look into it.
“We submit that evidence exists to support the conclusion that Mr. Flaum and Flaum Rochester have been acting as unregistered lobbyists and have accepted a contingent-based employment from the Nation,” Michael Nolan, CEO on Batavia Downs and OTB said. “Also some evidence exists to support that the Nation and the Seneca Gaming Corporation are considered lobbying clients of Mr. Flaum and Flaum Rochester and have failed to submit required semi-annual reports.”
Flaum and the Senecas are looking to build a full-fledged casino in Henrietta, Monroe County. Nolan says OTB wants to make sure it's an honest and fair process. Several Western New York municipalities, including Genesee County and the City of Batavia, have formally opposed it. Lawmakers and OTB say having a Las Vegas-style casino so close to Batavia would be devastating for the facility and the multiple beneficiaries of OTB as a public-benefit corporation.
A compact with the state gives the Senecas exclusive gaming rights in Western New York, which is why Batavia Downs can no longer call itself a casino. The Senecas run three Las Vegas-style casinos in the region.
A Henrietta casino would need state and federal approval to come to fruition.