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Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County joins the Coalition Against Gambling in New York in opposing all predatory gambling in Erie County and in New York, whether run by Indian nations, by the State of New York, by commercial interests, or by any combination thereof. CACGEC therefore opposes any proposal to expand legalized gambling in New York, whether implemented through the introduction of new lottery games, through legalization of new racino games, through expanded hours and venues, through a constitutional amendment to allow commercial casino gambling, or by any other means.

Next meeting: Tuesday, October 9, 7:30 pm
Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY
(lower level—enter from rear of building)

Op-ed by Hon. John J. LaFalce, former Member of Congress, on the implications for the local lawsuit of the recent defeat in Congress of a bill that would have taken land into trust in Michigan for off-reservation casinos

Audio clips and written summary of candidates’ statements at August 28, 2007 forum

Experts Refute Claims of
Seneca-Hired Casino Booster

Earl L. Grinols and Joel S. Rose, Another Voice, Buffalo News, 3/13/07

The Another Voice column that appeared in the Feb. 28 Buffalo News by Jonathan Taylor, hired by the Seneca Gaming Corp. to produce an economic report, misleads.

Earl Grinols

Taylor claims that studies commissioned by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission "concluded that economic benefits greatly exceed costs." In support of this claim, Taylor cites a study by Adam Rose.

However, Rose says in his executive summary: "This assessment does not factor in social costs of gambling, which are beyond the scope of this study . . ." (Adam Rose and Associates, "The Regional Economic Impacts of Casino Gambling," prepared for the study commission, Nov. 5, 1998.)

Taylor also cites a study by the National Opinion Research Council, a commercial group associated with the University of Chicago, and says that "the study found no discernible change in three measures of bankruptcy, seven measures of crime or in infant mortality" and that "casino proximity correlated with economic health."

In fact, the council found, in its own words, "The availability of a casino within 50 miles (versus 50 to 250 miles) is associated with about double the prevalence of problem and pathological gamblers" and that "pathological and problem gamblers are more likely than other gamblers or nongamblers to have been on welfare, declared bankruptcy, and to have been arrested or incarcerated." (Dean Gerstein, et al., "Gambling Impact and Behavior Study," report to the commission, April 1, 1999).

Indeed, the commission itself was unwilling to conclude that the benefits of gambling exceeded its costs. Instead, it concluded: "We have recommended a pause in the expansion of gambling in order to allow time for an assessment of the costs and benefits . . ."

Since then, research has been completed in various locations, including other countries. A summary of this work in "Gambling In America: Costs and Benefits" (by one of the authors of this piece, Earl L. Grinols, Cambridge University Press, 2004) concludes that the reverse is true: Social costs typically exceed benefits, 3-to- 1.

Finally, Taylor claimed that polls have "consistently" shown a majority of Erie County residents favor a downtown casino. This, too, is untrue. The results of the two media-sponsored polls are contradictory. The poll commissioned by the Seneca Gaming Corp. shows a majority in favor, but that was a transparent "push-poll."

The only time the residents have had a good opportunity to express themselves -- at October's Common Council hearing on the proposed sale of Fulton Street -- 53 speakers spoke against the casino and the sale, and only five in favor. If nothing else, that is an indication of intensity of feeling on the subject.

Earl L. Grinols is distinguished professor of economics at Baylor University and author of "Gambling In America: Costs and Benefits." Joel S. Rose is co-chairman of Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County.

Gambling Corporation Prefers Fiction Over Fact

(Posted 2/27/07)

The Taylor Policy Group, which writes promotional material for the gambling industry, released a "study" last week claiming that the Seneca casino operations have benefitted the Western New York economy. The Taylor report says that Seneca cigarette and gambling operations together had a $588 million impact on WNY GDP for 2005.

George M. Palumbo, chairman of the economic and finance department at Canisius College, refuted this claim. In regard to gambling revenue, he pointed out that true economic impact would be money coming from outside the area. Palumbo noted that 86 percent of Seneca Niagara's gambling revenue comes from Western New York.

The Taylor report, paid for by the Seneca Nation, is part of an ongoing public disinformation campaign waged by gambling interests. In 2005 , the Seneca Nation produced a report with similar specious claims. That report stated that Seneca casinos generated $100 million in revenue to New York State, and $72 million in payroll during 2004. Omitted was the fact that at the same time over $300 million in gambling losses came out of the pockets of local residents.

In 2006, the Seneca Gambling Corporation commissioned a push-poll to produce a biased survey outcome on public attitudes toward a casino.

It is not surprising that a recent audit by the State Comptroller has raised serious questions about the Seneca Gambling Corporation's business-reporting practices.

Politicians and political hacks often become entwined in the propaganda game. In 2005, Charles Gargano, chairman of Empire State Development (and a casino promoter with a shady past), commissioned a "study" of the Seneca Niagara Casino's impact on the City of Niagara Falls. The research work was done "in partnership with Gaming & Resort and Development Inc." --- a propaganda arm of the gambling industry.

"Experts" can also be found and bought by casino interests. In 2005, Harvard University cast aside objectivity to carry out industry-funded "research" that delivered pro-casino results.

The abuse of information media by misrepresentation and pseudo-research was explored here in an article entitled "Propaganda Masquerading as News".

The casino interests can pay to plant distortions in the news. Fortunately, to tell the real casino story, we have a wealth of public testimony, as well as the scientific findings of professionals like Dr. John Kindt, of Illinois, Dr. Earl Grinols, of Texas, and Tom Grey, Former Director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. These people do not reap any monetary reward for their efforts.

Ever wonder why some politicians support gambling interests?

Paul Tokasz retired as State Assembly Majority Leader on 1/1/2007. On 1/18/07, Patricia Lynch Associates, the second-biggest lobbying firm in the state capital, announced that he is joining their firm, which counts among its clients the Oneida Indian Nation and gambling interests!

    -- Source: Buffalo News, 1/19/2007

Meanwhile, Dennis Gabryszak, who, as Cheektowaga Town Supervisor, advocated for the casino, now occupies Tokasz's old Assembly seat, and continues to advocate for a Cheektowaga casino.

All Gambling
All the Time
Sen. Frank Padavan's Report

Senator Padavan outlines the economic and social costs of state-sponsored gambling. Free

Opposition to Casinos Widespread

Civic Organizations opposed to casinos include The Allentown Association, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Citizens for Common Sense, the Constitution Party of NY the Green Party , the New Millenium Group, Forever Elmwood and ReformNYS, Senecas for Justice and Preservation, Voice Buffalo, Western New York Coalition for Progress, as well as Bishop Kmiec.


A brief analysis of the impact
of casino gambling
on local economies.

lawnsign image

Leaders Go on Record Against Casino Blight
December 2007

versions of this list of statements in Word and PowerPoint

Having closely watched the steep economic decline of Atlantic City following the establishment of gambling casinos, I feel strongly that we cannot let Buffalo suffer a similar fate!

– Hon. Joan K. Bozer, former Erie County Legislator

What individuals stand to lose when gambling is of far greater value to them than what they stand to gain. Building a casino is gambling with Buffalo's future and our children's lives.

– William L. Duax, Herbert A. Hauptman Distinguished Scientist

A casino in Buffalo is a slap in the face of everyone investing in positive downtown revitalization. The last thing we need is one more obstacle, on top of plenty of pre-existing challenges, hampering our ability to establish a quality foundation for the future of this community.

– Judith S. Einach, former mayoral candidate, City of Buffalo

Gambling has destroyed many families and futures. Generations will suffer, and especially our children, because of gambling.

– Hon. Arthur O. Eve, former Deputy Speaker, New York State Assembly

Our community's future lies in developing that which renders us unique, not in copying casino gambling efforts that have failed so many other cities.

– Kevin P. Gaughan, local civic leader & former mayoral candidate, City of Buffalo

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy has repeatedly condemned commercial gambling as an activity contrary to our traditional teachings. It has no place among a people whose original instructions are to care for the earth, sustain our rituals of thanksgiving and preserve land, sky, and water in trust for those yet unborn. Casino gambling is but the latest tactic devised by external agencies to divorce us from our heritage, separate us from the earth, and extinguish our indigenous rights ...

– Douglas M. George-Kanentiio, nationally honored Haudenosaunee author, journalist and Indian activist

I oppose casino gambling for Buffalo because as a vision for the city and as public policy it is intellectually bankrupt and inherently corrupt. There is nothing creative, nothing imaginative about casino gambling; nothing that lifts our spirits as individuals or our hope as a community. We want, need and deserve better.

– Mark Goldman, restaurateur and local civic leader and activist

Betting on a casino in Buffalo to fix the economy is a sure loser. It is unfortunate that our state leaders denied the public the right to vote on casino gambling by doing an end run around the New York State Constitution, which prohibits gambling.

– Hon. Joseph Golombek, Jr., Buffalo Common Council Member, North District

Nationwide tribal casino operations and their governing systems have completely destroyed all aspects of democratic governance, with the result that the entire casino enterprise has corrupted nationwide American Indian self-government.

– Edna Gordon, Seneca Hen-Hawk Elder & author

I'm reminded of the Hippocratic Oath: Ancient Greek doctors were committed to do whatever was in their power to promote the health and well being of their patients, but the Hippocratic Oath proclaimed that above all do no harm. Whatever else can be said of the casino, it will do harm.

– Herbert Hauptman, President, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research & Nobel Laureate

A strong education system and the creation of plentiful, meaningful jobs with decent pay and benefits are commendable goals for Buffalo, its communities and its businesses to pursue. Our schools need the opportunity to work at jobs that support their families and contribute to the well being of their communities. Casino gambling is an inadequate and dangerous response to both concerns. The reasons that positive things are happening in Buffalo can be summed up in two words, unity and attitude; casino gambling is destroying that.

– Ralph R. Hernandez, Member, Buffalo Board of Education, West District

A casino in downtown Buffalo will be a cancer on our community that will cripple the great progress we are making on revitalizing our great city. Casinos have been shown to create more economic problems than they solve, providing false hopes and preying on those who can least afford it. A casino is the last thing that our community needs.

– Hon. Sam Hoyt, Member, NY State Assembly, 144th District

We in the Buffalo community have a rich heritage with members of the American Indian community that we prize. Those promoting the Buffalo casino are deviously seeking to evade the Constitutional prohibition against public gambling by unconsciously using that heritage to foist a very negative gambling operation in our community.

– Hon. Norman E. Joslin, Justice, New York State Supreme Court, retired, & past President, Buffalo Area Council of Churches

A handful of construction jobs cannot possibly be worth the absolutely certain social and economic disaster of a downtown Native American Casino. The wonderful but fragile City of Buffalo deserves so much better. Wake up leaders!

– D. Bruce Johnstone, former Chancellor, State University of New York

City taxpayers were short-changed on the sale of Fulton Street.

– Hon. Michael P. Kearns, Buffalo Common Council Member, South District

A Buffalo casino: Odds are it's a sucker bet.

– Hon. Michael J. LoCurto, Buffalo Common Council Member, Delaware District

As I wrote to the Department of Interior Secretary in October of 2005, I am opposed to a casino located in Buffalo. I have repeatedly voiced my concerns on this matter owing to the negative social implications of gambling. I consider gaming to be very limited in its economic development potential because of its operation by a sovereign nation. As I do door-to-door visits, my constituents have voiced the same concerns I have. We do not support a Buffalo based gambling venue.

– Hon. Lynn M. Marinelli, Chairperson, Erie County Legislature

Common sense dictates that the gambling operators are the greatest threat to Indian sovereignty.

– the late John C. Mohawk, Iroquois scholar and activist from "Sovereignty and Common Sense," (with Oren Lyons), taken from "Akwesasne Notes," Vol. 22, No. 1 (Late Spring 1990, online at

This area desperately needs an economic development strategy. Nobody disputes that. But let's be smart about it, not desperate. Let's be thoughtful and strategic, not careless. Simply put, another Wal-mart in the suburbs and a casino near the projects is NOT a sound economic development strategy.

– Hon. Maria R. Whyte, Majority Leader, Erie County Legislature

Movie Review

"Lucky You"
M. Faust (artvoice) May 03, 2007

Televised poker strikes me as something to turn to only after exhausting the offerings on the Watching Paint Dry Channel, or perhaps the Golf Channel. But many people do enjoy watching card players stare each other down on cable, and those are the people for whom Lucky You is presumably intended. Problem is, those are the only people who could possibly get any enjoyment out of this, and even a lot of them are likely to find it thin on entertainment value. Eric Bana, who has so slimmed down and overcome his Australian accent that he is now in danger of being mistaken for Patrick Duffy, stars as Huck Cheever, who makes his living playing poker in Las Vegas. He lives in the shadow of his father (Robert Duval), a former literature professor (hence his son's name) who abandoned his family around the time he discovered high-stakes poker. Because Huck often loses as big as he wins, he's desperately trying to raise a stake to get into the World Series of Poker, which is just what it sounds like. The script throws him a love interest in the person of Drew Barrymore as Billie, a small-town girl come to work as a singer in Vegas. There's some nonsense about Billie and Huck sharing the ability to read people's feelings but using them to different ends, and about Huck's tensions regarding his recently returned father, but the only thing this film has any interest in is photographing poker matches. And while a certain amount of audience oohing and ahhing during the interminable final match indicates that those with a taste for the subject may find this engrossing, I can't help but question the appeal of watching a fictional gambling match. And that this dull-as-dishwater drama says nothing about the emotional and psychic dangers of obsessive gambling is a black eye for director Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential, Wonder Boys) and writer Eric Roth (The Insider, The Good Shepherd), for both of whom this serves as a career low point. Did they lose a bet or something?

From the trailer of "Lucky You"

       Write to us!  Send an email to CACGEC        or call (716)-440-8126    

CACGEC was formed by concerned Western New Yorkers united in the belief that casino gambling in the County of Erie poses a serious threat to our community. The miniscule amount of revenue that casinos might generate for the area would be far outweighed by the additional costs of law enforcement, fire protection and gaming-addiction treatment.

  • Please come to a meeting. We meet at 7 PM, normally on the 1st Tuesday of every month, at Greater Buffalo Savings Bank, corner of Jewett & Main. See The Calendar
  • Donate to the cause. Your monetary contribution will help us print lawn signs, pay for this website, and pay for other expenses involved in fighting against the big-money casino developers.

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