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Lago Resort Developers Win A Legal Challenge

A State Supreme Court Judge has rejected an attempt by a local horse racing track and casino trying to block the proposed Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County.

Acting Justice James Ferreira ruled against the lawsuit brought by Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack earlier this year, which said the Lago resort would hurt its business.

The judge said that the Farmington-based track does not have standing in the case, saying that decision by a gaming facility siting board did not require it to have to consider any negative competitive impact on existing gambling businesses.

Lago developer Tom Wilmot says their goal is to bring increased tourism to the Finger Lakes, and he says the court's ruling reconfirms the process that resulted in Lago's selection. He says their proposal will create a number of jobs.

Officials at the Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack issued a statement saying that they were "disappointed the court did not review the merits of the case, " and they continue to believe Lago's selection for a casino contradicts the state legislature's mandate focusing on boosting economic impact. Finger Lakes officials feel that the Lago resort will cannibalize revenues and jobs from surrounding communities.

But the developers of Lago had to suspend construction on the project last month after a ruling by another court which said the Town of Tyre did not properly follow state environmental law.

The casino developers are  still waiting for that situation to be resolved. 

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.