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Casino Opponents May Try To Force Referendum In Rochester

 A local organization opposed to proposals for a downtown Rochester casino says it is collecting signatures in the hope it can force a referendum on the issue.

The group, called A Better Rochester, was started  by businesses that include gambling interests such as Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, Batavia Downs, and the owners of the Del Lago Resort and Casino.

The organization says it has collected 12,000 signatures of registered Rochester voters. The group says if City Council fails to take action to amend the city charter to ban casinos, it will obtain the signatures needed to force the measure onto the November ballot. A Better Rochester feels a casino would hurt city residents and existing businesses.

A statement issued by the city’s Deputy Corporation Counsel, Tim Curtin, says an initial review of the petition suggests a fatal flaw that would prevent it from being adopted.

He says the city administration applauds the group for its interest in the economic well-being of Rochester and hopes its members will come up with a plan that would provide city residents with much-needed jobs and opportunities.

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.