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Disastrous Decision

Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County

To inform and empower the public to prevent a casino in Erie County.

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Disastrous Decision

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Robert J. Schulman
ANOTHER VOICE, Buffalo News: 10/28/2006

City officials ignore facts about casino gambling

Two days after the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling Regional Conference occurred here, I saw Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, Mayor Byron Brown and Seneca Gaming Corp. officials on public access TV replaying the Fulton Street sale approval announcement and predicting "development, waterfront connectedness, millions of tourists" and other such misleading sound bites. This offensive and private press staging did not present any opposing views or facts. No public input was offered or allowed. There was no citizen representation. This came as a result of surreptitious, behind-closed-door sham "negotiations" over the last two months that overlooked fact, economic research and obvious outcome in other communities.

By contrast, the educational, open NCALG conference provided solid economic analysis by experts and research founded on realities. It has been clearly shown that urban casinos cause harm far in excess of any help to the city. Again, look at Detroit, Niagara Falls, New York, Louisiana, Turning Stone or the big casinos in Connecticut - all true losers for these communities.

Please understand that there is real human tragedy for individuals and families being created in these "entertainment" palaces. Adult gamblers are modeling the risk of future misery for their children. Buffalo Creek (which will hopefully never open) in legal documents wrote its stated intention is to bring in the local population, but now claims "in writing" that it cares about promoting itself to the region.

The Senecas and Brown have no data, no facts and no proof to support the future benefit to Buffalo. The first year's $125 million will go to the building trades - Brown's allies - and yearly thereafter $150 million or more will leave the economy and bring in a zero-development Niagara-Falls type scene, good only for the Senecas and gambling industry supporters.

For every dollar generated, $3 will be lost and $12 million to $16 million in taxes will belong to the sovereign nation, not the city. Five million dollars for the city from the slot cut is 50 percent less than revenue from parking enforcement as projected in the 2006-07 budget.

Is anyone in City Hall doing the math or checking the facts? Not one city official came to the gambling conference. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission stated that as the money is lost faster, the socioeconomic negatives increase dramatically. Its final report confirmed that the gambling industry had created new addicted gamblers, new bankruptcies and new crime and corruption. The 1999 U.S. Gambling Commission unanimously called for a moratorium on the expansion of U.S. gambling. Sadly, however, it has grown into a monster.

Anyone with sense can see the harm coming to Buffalo. Jobs will be lost, restaurants closed, families devastated, bankruptcies and crime increased. The casino is a strategy for injustice, not economic development.


Robert J. Schulman, M.D., lives in Buffalo.


Our Next Meeting

uesday, August 3, 2010
7:00 pm
Unity Church
1243 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY
(lower level—enter from rear of building)

Leaders Go on Record Against Casino Blight

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