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Casino construction, and gambling, continues

  Construction crews continue erecting structural steel on the site of the planned Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, as a federal judge today knocked a little bit more out of the casino's foundation.

   U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny today ruled that gambling is still illegal on the 9-acre site -- as he ruled July 8 -- and directed the National Indian Gaming Commission to look at his earlier ruling and file the necessary notices of violation that would shut the casino down.

   Citizens for a Better Buffalo, the group that brought the suit,  claimed victory, though gambling continues on the site.

   And the Senecas urged government attorneys to file an immediate appeal. The Senecas are not a party to the suit, but have friend of the court status.

   Cornelius D. Murray, the attorney representing the opponents, warned the Senecas before construction began that they were doing it at their peril, that the lawsuit was already under way.

   The Senecas point to the jobs they create, the money they send to Albany and localities for their exclusive right to slot machines.

   Opponents say the casino will suck money away from local people in America's second poorest city. And they also say the tax-free casino will give away millions of dollars in free food and rooms for gamblers, making it impossible to compete.

   What do you think?

-- Michael Beebe & Dan Herbeck

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