Court Ruling to Delay New York Casino

A ruling has been handed down by the Fourth Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court in Rochester, which will delay the construction of the Lago casino (l.). It was found that the developers circumvented proper procedures to ensure the property would have no negative environmental impacts.

Opponents for construction of the Lago casino in New York, such as the Amish among others, scored a small victory when a court ruling came down to delay the casino’s construction. The Fourth Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court in Rochester determined a written explanation in June 2014, which said the casino would have no environmental impact violated the procedures of the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Mario J. Fratto, a lawyer for the opponents, said, “Today’s decision was the light at the end of the tunnel. We are truly overcome with joy.” The joy may be short lived however, and as Steven Greenberg, a spokesman for the Lago project said, “This decision was on technical grounds that we anticipate will be rectified in the near future.”

The Gaming Commission said it was currently reviewing the decision. For the time being, construction has been suspended. Jeff Gural, who lost out on a casino license last December, submitted a second application when the state opened up the process for one possible license in the Southern Tier. Gural found out some good news when he was told his application was the only one submitted this round.

“A nice birthday present,” Gural said. Just because Gural was the only one who submitted, does not mean he is guaranteed a license, but can rest knowing there is no other competition. Gural feels his chances are pretty good to receive the license though, and said, “I don’t see how they could not, truthfully. The governor … made it clear that he thought there should be a casino in the Southern Tier.”

Gural is confident not only with his casino, but with the success of casinos in the northeast region of the country. In fact, he and his partners have a 10 percent interest in the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, and is also involved in a proposed $1 billion casino-resort near the New Jersey Meadowlands.